Rocky Fielding announced himself on the World super-middleweight stage in stunning fashion, stopping Brian Vera in two rounds at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Friday night, live on Sky Sports.
Fielding swarmed Vera from the start and decked him with a brutal left uppercut in the first round and then finished the job in style in the second round, flooring the American, who appeared off-balance from stumbling over, with a huge left hand and then pouring on more relentless pressure to force referee Ian John Lewis to halt the contest after 1.39 of the second round.
Fielding is ranked in the top 15 in all four governing bodies after landing the vacant WBC International title with his win, and the ever-humble Liverpool man admits even he was surprised by how quickly he dismissed the experienced visitor.
“I was expecting a tough fight; I am not going to lie,” said Fielding. “I was expecting a hard 12 rounds in there.
“I knew I carried that bit of power so if I caught him clean I could do a bit of damage, and that is what I did.
“In the changing rooms warming up we were trying to slip his jab with the left uppercut and it worked. I didn’t even know I threw it, I just threw it, caught him and he went down. I was buzzing with that.
“I work hard with Oliver Harrison and got some good sparring with Martin Murray. That was the fight I needed to pick me up.
“[The second knockdown] As the referee was saying, if he is knocked down don’t hit him but until he hits the floor then if he is still in front of you he is still hitting you until he hits the floor. I caught him with some good shots, and I knew once I caught him with a couple of good shots I knew I could get him out of there.
“I enjoyed it. I want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting me.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “He is so underrated. Nobody does that to Brian Vera. He deserves a lot of credit, and I feel he doesn’t get it. He is working his way up the world govern bodies and he is doing things the right way.”
Fielding’s fellow World-rated Liverpool talent Callum Smith followed Fielding into the ring tonight in his acid test against Christopher Rebrasse, and Fielding and Hearn had their say on a potential Merseyside showdown.
“I will support Callum,” said Fielding. “He is a Scouser and we are all out here supporting each other. I will sit back down with Eddie and Oliver and see what the next move is. I am up for it.”
“Rocky and Callum is a huge fight but as much as the British title is a wonderful belt I feel it deserves a little bit more,” said Hearn. “If it comes with a little bit more I don’t see the problem in making that fight. Rocky wants World title fights, and so does Callum.
“Over the next 12 months they are both going to get them. If they meet each other, it could be done of those classic final eliminators. That was a great performance tonight, and he deserves a lot of credit.”