Rocky Fielding says he will prove he is worthy of his headline status in ‘Rocky and the Betfair Prizefighters’ by winning the vacant English super middleweight title in style against Carl Dilks at the Liverpool Olympia tomorrow night.
Fielding returns to the scene of his biggest night as a pro when he made Prizefighter series history on March 23 2011 becoming the first man to win the tournament with three stoppage wins in three fights.
On Saturday night, the 25 year old fights for his first major belt against fellow Scouser Dilks, and with his legion of loyal fans heavily outnumbering Dilks’ followers, Fielding is predicting a lively night on Merseyside.
“I think I have the whole city behind me,” said Fielding, a hot 1-8 favourite with Betfair to win the belt. “I could have sold out the Olympia if it was just my fight without Prizefighter. People have been tweeting me, phoning me, knocking on my mum’s door asking if there are any more tickets.
“It will be a really great atmosphere, like a derby day. It is more exciting for boxing fans in the city; it is what they want to see, two Scouse lads having it in the ring with each other. I am excited and getting butterflies just thinking about walking out to the ring and looking around to see that many people shouting for me. It is going to be jam packed in there; it is going to be bouncing.”
Fielding claimed the Prizefighter Super Middleweights title after just three fights and now boxes for a major title with just 11 pro bouts under his belt – but ‘Rocky from Stocky’ insists it is a step-up he is more than prepared for.
“I am ready to move up now,” Fielding added. “I have had some tough fights and I am ready to step up now and showcase what I can do well and show people that I can step up a level. Dilks is a good, tough opponent but I am confident about the fight.
“We’re live on Sky Sports and I need to do well and put in a good performance and hopefully I can gain more fans by putting on a good show. Then people will look out for my name and want to know when I am fighting next, when I am on Sky Sports next, and I will have people talking about my fights.”
Dilks has twice fought for titles and twice come away empty handed, dropping a tough split decision for the Commonwealth title against Charles Adamu at Bethnal Green in November 2009 before James DeGale blasted him out of their WBA International title fight inside one round the following September in Birmingham – for Dilks, a third defeat in a bout with a belt on the line would mean the end of the road.
“If I don’t win this I have nowhere to go,” said Dilks, a 9-2 shot with Betfair for the title. “I have no other avenues left to go down and if I am being honest I will probably retire because I am not going to sit around and be a test or a journeyman. With my last fight in Germany, and even with this fight to an extent, I think I am being used as a test or a stepping stone. But I really believe I can win this fight.”
Fielding was originally due to face Wayne Reed for the Central Area title but after that fight fell through, promoter Eddie Hearn landed a bigger title shot against Dilks. But with Prizefighter proving as popular as ever in the fighting city of Liverpool and selling out with two months left, Dilks says he’ll be a lonely figure in his hometown.
“It is mad really because I am going into the lions’ den in Liverpool, my own city,” said Dilks. “He has sold a lot of tickets and will have a lot of people there behind him and I couldn’t believe I only got 25 tickets because it had already sold out but that doesn’t bother me.
“He is going to be up for it, he is going to want to impress but I am bringing my A-game for this fight so it isn’t going to faze me one little bit.”
Fielding v Dilks – Betfair bet: 1-8 Fielding, 9-2 Dilks, 22-1 the draw
Rocky Fielding (11st 13lb 9oz) vs. Carl Dilks (11st 13lb 10oz)