Canelo Alvarez claims Rocky Fielding deserves more respect because he is a world champion.
Fielding has been dismissed across the Atlantic ahead of his clash with Alvarez at New York’s Madison Square Garden because he is relatively unknown.
The Scouser has even been accused of cashing in on the WBA super-middleweight title he won in July by making his first defence against Alvarez.
But Alvarez, who is 50-1-2 and bidding to become a three-weight world champ, says Fielding should be given credit because he holds the prestigious WBA belt.
“Perhaps many don’t give the credit to Rocky Fielding that he deserves,” said the pound-for-pound king.
“But he deserves credit for a reason because he’s a world champion.
“I know who he is, I’ve trained very hard, I know the challenge I have in front of me. I know that I have a tough fight, but I like challenges and I know we’re going to make history. I’m ready for that.”
Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya has chosen Fielding for the Mexican’s much-hyped Garden debut and the Brit has spent most of the build-up pinching himself.
His rise from catching the bus to fight in small-hall shows in Liverpool to facing the world’s No 1 fighter in the iconic Garden is a true Rocky story.
Fielding, 31, who is 27-1, rang the bell to open the New York Stock Exchange during the fighters’ media tour and says he last visited the Garden to watch the NBA’s New York Knicks.
But he will be centre stage in the early hours of tomorrow and Fielding, who claimed the WBA title against Tyron Zeuge in Germany in July, said: “It’s great to be here.
“I was here years ago, sitting right at the top over there, watching a Knicks game, wishing one day to fight here.
“I’ve put a lot of work in to get here. I’ve had a lot of setbacks along the way, but here we are.
“It’s unbelievable. I’m looking forward to it. I believe in myself. I come here as a champion and this is what champions do, they defend and they win.”