KEY WEST, FL, Jan. 18
Graham's Odds: 
Fields -120; Davis -120
Over 7.5 +120; under 7.5 -140

Every young prospect sooner or later has to roll the dice in a serious step-up fight. For cruiserweight Eric Fields, the move up in class comes early in his career when, in his 11th fight, he meets Kelvin Davis in a 10-rounder on Friday Night Fights.

This is a tough fight for the 25-year-old Fields, who although twice a national Golden Gloves champion at 201 pounds had little amateur experience. When Fields beat Tony Grano (now also an unbeaten professional) in the 2006 Golden Gloves final he had been boxing for only 18 months.

Fields was stopped in an international match in Illinois against a boxer from Azerbaijan (one of the former Soviet states) in December 2006, but this was on the amateur “outclassed” rule in which one boxer has reached a wide lead on points and the result does not indicate a chin problem. In fact, I understand that Fields’s match with Grano saw both men giving and taking heavy hits in an exciting contest.

I have not had the chance to see Fields. Two reliable sources tell me much the same thing, which is that he is a strong body puncher, very busy and crowd-pleasing — but one of my informants felt that Fields got tired when he could not stop his opponent in one of his two full-distance bouts.

Fields is certainly a fast starter, with seven one-round wins. His most significant victory was a knockout in 99 seconds over Ramiro Reducindo, the Mexican Olympic representative and 2003 Pan American Games light-heavy gold medallist. Although a right hand to the head was the finishing blow I understand that Reducindo had been hurt to the body and basically sat out the count.

OK, so we know that Fields can hit, especially early. He apparently is one of those natural athletes who was a quick learner as a boxer. The downside is that he has never been past six rounds and he is meeting a well-seasoned former world champ known for toughness and heavy hitting.

Davis, 29, has obviously fought at a much higher level — no comparison in terms of quality of opposition.

To show how tough Davis is, in June of last year he suffered cracked vertebrae in his back and neck in a fall from a bridge while doing roadwork in New Zealand (it seems a truck was approaching too closely for the boxer’s liking and he stepped over the parapet without realising the extent of the drop), but just five months later he was back in the ring, losing on points to the muscular, unbeaten local heavyweight Carl Drummond in Costa Rica.

Davis calls himself “Koncrete” and after he had sparred with David Haye in London the big-hitting British cruiserweight told reporters it was indeed like hitting someone made of concrete.

A chunky, Mike Tyson-like 5ft 8ins, Davis will be giving away height and reach to Fields, but this of course is nothing new to him.

The unknown factors in this fight are clear-cut: How much does Davis have left after three losses in a row and having been injured in the fall, and will Fields be able to hold himself together and keep punching if his much more experienced opponent is still there and firing back after the first four, five or six rounds? One would think that the longer the fight goes, the more Davis's chances increase.

I see this as one of those anything-can-happen fights. My slightest of leans is towards Fields, the athletic, unbeaten, younger and fresher man who has his career ahead of him, but it’s a close call.

RESULT: Fields KO1; Davis overwhelmed by opening onslaught. Fields looks good!

Last Updated: 
January 14, 2008 - 5:48am