British boxer Rocky Fielding is part of a star-studded card slated for Dubai on November 26.
The highly-anticipated card also features former two-weight world champion Badou Jack and Pakistan talent Muhammad Waseem.
The D4G promotion takes place at MotoSpace and will be broadcast live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
As part of his buildup to face Dmitri Chudinov, former British super middleweight champion Fielding, who returns to the ring after a two-year absence, will provide a weekly update about his training regime in Dubai, as well as his thoughts on the latest boxing news.
How are you feeling ahead of your fight against Chudinov in Dubai?
I’m feeling great and I’m in a good place. Training’s been going well and it’s been a lot different with the weather here. I put myself through a bit of torture because in July and August, when it was about 50 degrees, I was out running for 30-40 minutes every day to test myself and to see where my head was at. I’d been out of action for so long, and I had a bit of weight on me, so I put myself through torture. I was still getting out and it was hard to breathe with the air. After doing very little for a year during Covid, I told myself that was the payback. Then I’ve also been in the garden doing my circuit work and obviously in the gym doing my sessions too. I’m through that now, though, the weight’s dropped off and everything is going well.
How does training in Dubai differ to the UK?
I moved here in March and it’s obviously very different because you wake up in the morning and the sun’s blaring through the window, which helps you get up and get out training. Back in the UK, when you have that cold, miserable weather, it’s sometimes hard to get out of bed and go out running on the road. The surroundings here are great and when you’re out running you’re always seeing different things, it’s totally different scenery and it gives you that extra push and added motivation. I have my kids here and settled in school, which helps me focus on my training. They went back to the UK in the summer but I stayed here in the heat to get my sessions in. I train in Round 10 Gym. I used to come here on holiday and I’d always go there. They’re good people. I went back to the UK recently to do some sparring as the quality out here wasn’t great, but I’m back here now and cracking on with the rest of the camp.
What are the key areas of focus on over the next few weeks?
For the next two weeks it will be about stepping it up and putting the extra rounds of sparring in. It will be intense and hard, and then after these next two weeks I will focus on speed work, getting my weight down and the fight itself. Luckily enough, when I came back from the UK, I walked into the gym and Badou Jack was there looking for a sparring partner, just like I was, so I’ve done over 20 rounds of sparring with him, which has been a blessing. To have been out for two years, and then spar with Badou and come through it well, it’s given me that extra confidence boost. We’re at the stage now where it’s road work, sprint work and sparring twice a day.
How do you balance training camp and being a parent?
It’s all about balance. I finish one of my training sessions just as the kids finish school, so at that point I have to forget about training and become dad. Then when they’re in bed, I go and do my next session and put the work in. When I went back to the UK recently for two-and-a-half weeks, it was really hard to leave them, especially in another country. My little boy got sick, too, and had to go to hospital so that was very tough. He’s good now but that’s the hard part of boxing, when you need to be away from your family for a period of time. I used to be obsessed by boxing and block out everything around me, but now I have my two kids I have to balance it out. I help with their homework, take them to football, take them to gymnastics, so it’s all about balance. I always have my next training session planned out in my head, but when I’m with the kids I have to dedicate my time to them.
What do you miss most when you're in training camp?
At the moment, everything’s great out here and as long as the kids are happy, and they can go to a park or water park, I don’t really miss anything. On a Saturday I might take the day off, so I will go for an early-morning run, do the kids’ breakfast and then take my boy to golf. Then he has football at 10.30am so I take him there and then come back for a relaxing day. I’m happy where I’m at now, I have my last few years of fighting ahead of me and I’m fully focused on that.
What's your thoughts on the upcoming Canelo Alvarez v Plant fight?
I think Canelo will beat Caleb Plant. He’s just looking better and better with each fight. Plant’s a good fighter but he hasn’t really faced anybody at that level and this is a big step up. I think he will do well in the fight, and maybe win a few rounds, but once Canelo gets into his rhythm and starts finding his range, he’ll take over and maybe get a late stoppage.
What are your own memories of facing Canelo?
You can’t make mistakes at that level, and I did against Canelo (3rd round TKO). My previous fights had been at a slightly lower level and even though I might have made mistakes, my opponents didn’t take advantage. In the first round I came out fighting straight away and got caught with a few shots to the body, the first one was the killer because it swiped across my belly and took the wind out of me. His presence was always there and the pressure was always there. I was fighting back and leaving myself open. He’s such a strong and solid fighter.