‘Super’ Dan Azeez in his toughest test yet against a former world champion
It’s London vs Liverpool in the fight before Christmas this Saturday at the Bournemouth International Centre, live on Sky Sports.
Undefeated ‘Super’ Dan Azeez (17-0, 11KO) defends his British light-heavyweight title to former world champion Rocky Fielding (30-2, 18KO) in Bournemouth on Saturday night, December 17, also with the vacant Commonwealth title on the line.
The 33-year-old Azeez from Lewisham is a throwback fighter, doing things the traditional way. So far he has collected Southern Area, English and British titles, in that order, and now he is aiming to add the vacant Commonwealth strap to that list. If he can successfully get through his 18th professional bout, then a European title shot against the European Union champion Thomas Faure awaits him in the New Year.
Frenchman Faure is a very winnable fight for Azeez, as he has failed to win in five of his fights and doesn’t possess any knockout power. Promoter Ben Shalom has agreed to host the fight, so Azeez will get the home advantage too, but first he has the toughest test of his career against Rocky Fielding.
Many suspected Fielding of retiring after his 2019 knockout at the hands of pound-for-pound superstar Canelo, but he has bounced back with three wins on the spin.
Unfortunately, those three victories did not come against spectacular opposition, and he has only fought once per year, which is not a sign of an ambitious fighter building towards anything. In the time it’s taken Fielding to reel off three comeback wins, Azeez has had 11 fights and collected three titles.
Momentum and youth lies with Azeez, whose last three fights were against Shakan Pitters, Reece Cartwright and Hosea Burton. Those three top domestic fighters’ records combined to 66-5, whereas Rocky’s last three foes had 30 losses between them.
But, if we’re looking at records on paper, then the experienced Fielding, who’s pro debut was in 2010, was seven years before Azeez’s, while he was still an amateur learning the ropes, where he won around 40 from 60 bouts. ‘The Rock’, real name Michael Fielding, but named so after being born prematurely at only 10lbs in weight and showing the strength of a fighter, also had a successful amateur career, reaching to National ABA Finals.
Rocky is a former British and Commonwealth champion at super-middleweight, but that was in 2017, so, at 35, are his best days behind him now? Azeez isn’t underestimating him; he knows this is likely to be the hardest fight of his burgeoning career yet. But he is also backing himself as the reigning champion.
Dan Azeez is 2/11 to win at the bookies and Fielding is a 7/2 outsider. The odds for a draw are 18/1.
I’m a big fan of Dan Azeez and the way he is going about his career. I believe he will dominate this fight, as Rocky’s best days are behind him now, so I think Azeez will win on points, but I wouldn’t rule out a stoppage in the later rounds either.