Big plans for a big puncher

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

Look up. Look waaaaaay up.

There's a Big Sky looming on the horizon of Edmonton's boxing landscape.

Of course, that's only if you consider six-foot-eight and 285 pounds "big."

Those are the current dimensions of 34-year-old southpaw Tye (Big Sky) Fields, who recently moved to Edmonton from Las Vegas.

But unike a lot of heavyweight wannabes, the personable native of Missoula, Mont., is no boxing neophyte.

A pro for 10 years, he owns an impressive record of 41-2 with 37 KOs -- including a two-round stoppage of former WBA world champ Bruce Seldon in 2005.

The only blemishes on Fields' record are a pair of first-round knockouts: to Jeff Ford in 2001 (avenged via a third-round KO six months later) and to No. 5-ranked Monte Barrett last year.

"I've moved here with my wife and kids because Edmonton is the boxing capital of Canada, and this is the city I want to be based in," said Fields, whose wife Jennifer is in marketing at the River Cree Resort & Casino.

"I love it here, and so does my family. Our kids (three-year-old Emma and one-year-old Tad) fell in love with the snow the minute we arrived."

Fields has retained two-time Canadian heavyweight champ Ken Lakusta as his trainer, and together they're plotting the big guy's debut at the River Cree in late June.

"To be honest with you, Las Vegas isn't the greatest place to live and train," said Fields.

"We were looking for someplace fresh, someplace where I could concentrate on work without a lot of other distractions - and Edmonton certainly fits that bill."

Fields has been around long enough to know the score. A super-sized white heavyweight with proven punching power can write his own ticket.

"I'm already completely at ease here," he said. "Edmonton is everything we knew it would be. It's great.

"I got into boxing late, but I was involved in a lot of other sports at Oral Roberts University and San Diego State, so this wasn't a huge leap."

After abandoning his dreams of the NBA, Fields left college early to play pro hoops in Latvia and Ireland before moving on to the semi-pro Des Moines Dragons in Iowa.

"I was sitting on the bench after a game one night and a guy came up and told me he could make me heavyweight champion of the world," recalled Fields.

"I won my first 14 fights by first-round KOs, with the longest one lasting two minutes. It didn't take long to figure out this was something I should stick with."

Lakusta thinks Fields has the potential to be the real deal.

"Tye has already embraced Edmonton, and before long I think Edmonton will embrace him," he said. "He's a great natural athlete - and huge, but not bulky. He moves great and he can really punch.

"I think we've finally got a heavyweight to really get excited about."


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