Canelo Alvarez didn’t have anything to worry about in making weight the day before his bid to win a third belt in his Madison Square Garden debut.
The two-belt middleweight champion from Mexico is stepping up eight pounds to challenge World Boxing Assn. secondary super-middleweight champion Rocky Fielding of England, following back-to-back middleweight title fights against Gennady Golovkin..
Alvarez weighed in at 167.4 pounds Friday for the main-event bout. Fielding (27-1) weighed 167.6.
Meanwhile, former International Boxing Federation middleweight champion David Lemieux, who seemed poised to emerge as Alvarez’s May 4 opponent if he could beat contender Tureano Johnson in Saturday’s planned co-main event, was hospitalized with dehydration and had to withdraw from the card.
His promoter said Lemieux was “considerably weakened” by the weight cut.
And unbeaten elite junior-welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz (11-0, 11 KOs) of Texas was yanked from the card by regulators who don’t allow fighters in the ring if they’ve undergone the vision-enhancing laser procedure that Ortiz went through in October, according to his promoter.
Lemieux (40-4) lost his belt to Golovkin in 2015, then was defeated by England’s Billy Joe Saunders for the World Boxing Organization title one year ago this month.
Following a first-round knockout of Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan on the Alvarez-Golovkin undercard in September, however, Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya on Thursday indicated Lemieux was a front-runner for Alvarez if he could defeat Johnson.
De La Hoya ruled out current IBF champion Daniel Jacobs and Golovkin for the May bout, and his Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez said Lemieux was joined by WBO champion Demetrius Andrade and 168-pound champion Callum Smith in consideration.
First, Alvarez has to get through Fielding, whose weight may rise close to 180 pounds by the time he steps into the ring, the champion said Thursday.
“I’m a strong fighter and I know how to adapt,” Alvarez said of the weight disadvantage. “I’m an elite fighter and I know how to deal with [the other trappings of success], so I never get overconfident,” Alvarez said. “I always train 100%. This is the sport you should never be overconfident. One punch can change everything.
“I’ll worry about his weight and punching power and see what he comes at me with during the first round.”
Fielding suggested that his tale is another “Rocky” story. He vacationed to New York three years ago after getting knocked out in the first round by his Liverpool neighbor Callum Smith, and sat in the upper deck of the Garden watching a Knicks game.
Outside the arena, he took a selfie of himself outside the arena and captioned it, “One day … .”
Due to Lemieux’s absence, Tevin Farmer’s IBF super-featherweight title defense against Francisco Fonseca was elevated to the co-main event.
The card also includes a lightweight fight between Victorville prospect Ryan Garcia and Braulio Rodriguez. It’s Garcia’s first bout since aligning with Alvarez trainer Eddy Reynoso as his new cornerman.
Garcia and Rodriguez scuffled on stage before being quickly separated. Garcia said fighting at the Garden “means the world to me. I’m just happy to be on this stage.”
He scoffed at Rodriguez’s weigh-in aggression.