NEW YORK -- Unified middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez came to his weigh-in Friday at Madison Square Garden appearing in supreme condition the day before he will undertake a series of firsts in his already illustrious career.
He will fight in New York for the first time, something the Mexican superstar has long aspired to do. He will have the first fight of the record-shattering, five-year, 11-fight, $365 million deal with sports streaming service DAZN he signed in October. And he will do so fighting at the heaviest weight of his career as he moves up one division for what he says is a one-shot deal to challenge secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding.
Alvarez, whose previous highest weight was 164 pounds for a catchweight showdown with countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2017, was a shredded 167.4 pounds. Fielding was 167.6 for the 168-pound fight, which will take place Saturday (DAZN, 8 p.m. ET main card, with undercard stream beginning at 6 p.m. ET) at the Garden.
Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), 28, will be fighting for the first time since winning the middleweight world title by majority decision against Gennady Golovkin in their rematch in September in the year's biggest fight. He is aiming to win a world title in his third weight class despite the belt being a second-tier version and the much bigger Fielding being a massive underdog.
"Glory and history and legacy is very important to me. I don't care about what the critics think that this is an easy fight. I know what I have in front of me and I'm prepared to make history," Alvarez said after getting off the scale.
Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs), 31, of England, will be making his first defense following his upset fifth-round knockout of Tyron Zeuge on his home turf in Germany in July. He knows he's the heavy underdog but aims to shock the world.
"The weigh-in is done. All the talk is done. I'm ready to fight now. That's it. We've got a plan for [Saturday]," Fielding said.
While things went smoothly for the main event, there was disarray on the undercard as two fights were canceled before the weigh-in.
Former middleweight world titlist David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs), 29, of Montreal, who was scheduled to face Tureano Johnson (20-2, 14 KOs), 34, of the Bahamas, in the co-feature, with a possible May shot at Alvarez on the line, was pulled off the card Friday morning.
Lemieux, who has regularly struggled to make 160 pounds, once again had weight issues and saw his fight canceled. He was taken to hospital to be treated for dehydration.
"The safety of our fighters is always of the highest concern to us," Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. "Though we understand that David Lemieux is in stable condition, we must always execute precaution when dealing with the health of our fighters, especially since we know the consequence of improperly cutting weight. That said, we have spoken with our partners at Eye of The Tiger Management and have cancelled this fight. We wish Lemieux the very best and know that he will come back stronger than ever."
Said Camille Estephan of Eye of the Tiger Management: "[Lemieux] was considerably weakened by the process of making weight. There were concerns regarding his vital signs and he was immediately taken to the hospital to be in the hands of medical staff. Tests are being administered to ensure his safety and health as well as IV treatment for rehydration."
Johnson was very upset about the fight being canceled, though he stepped on the scale and was 159.4 pounds and will receive at least half of his undisclosed purse.
"I don't know David Lemieux personally but I can tell you this -- he said in interviews that he only took one week off after the Spike O'Sullivan fight [that he won by first-round knockout in September]," Johnson told ESPN. "His weight was fine. Come on, man. I was prepared for a good strong David Lemieux. I'm disappointed. Right now I came here to fight after my struggles to make weight. I made the sacrifice in training camp, leaving my home to come here [to train in New York with Andre Rozier].
"We had a hard camp. I'm ready to fight anybody. I'm ready to beat anybody. David Lemieux, I hope he feels better."
Another featured fight on the card was also canceled, a 10-rounder between top junior welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr. (11-0, 11 KOs), 20, of Dallas, and Omar Tienda (19-5, 12 KOs), 30, of Mexico.
"The New York State Athletic Commission did not allow Vergil Ortiz Jr. to fight due to a rule preventing fighters who have had Lasik eye surgery from fighting," Golden Boy said in a statement. "Ortiz Jr. had Lasik eye surgery in early October and thus will not be able to fight."
Junior lightweight titlist Tevin Farmer (27-4-1, 6 KOs), 28, of Philadelphia, was right on the division limit of 130 pounds for his second title defense, which will come against Francisco Fonseca (22-1-1, 16 KOs), 24, of Costa Rica. With Lemieux-Johnson being canceled, Farmer-Fonseca was elevated to the co-feature position.
Unified women's lightweight world titleholder Katie Taylor (11-0, 5 KOs), 32, of Ireland was 134.2 pounds, just inside the 135-pound limit, for her sixth defense. Challenger Eva Wahlstrom (22-0-1, 3 KOs), 38, of Finland, weighed 133.4 pounds.
Former junior middleweight world titlist Sadam Ali (26-2, 14 KOs), 30, of Brooklyn, New York, was right on the 147-pound division limit for his return to welterweight for his first fight since losing his title by fourth-round knockout to Jaime Munguia in May. Opponent Mauricio Herrera (24-7, 7 KOs), 38, of Riverside, California, was 146 pounds.