Fields, Lakusta set lofty goals

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

Until he can quench his thirst for fame and fortune by earning a shot at the world heavyweight championship, Edmonton's Tye Fields will have to settle for guzzling his own brand of bottled water.

In fact, when the six-foot-eight, 260-pound Fields (42-2, 38 KOs) takes on Missouri's Galen Brown (32-12, 19 KOs) in the headliner of Big Bang Boxing's six-bout Malice at The Palace card Oct. 30 at The Palace banquet hall, each table will feature bottles of Arctic Chiller water bearing Fields's photo on the label.

"Yeah, it's pretty cool to see my picture right there on the label," Fields said at yesterday's official unveiling.

"I've never had anything like this in my career before and I didn't really know what to expect, but they did a great job with it."

It's all part of a big-picture plan by Fields's trainer-promoter, two-time Canadian heavyweight champ Ken Lakusta, to position the transplanted Montana native for a world title shot.

"If Tye keeps progressing the way he has over the past six months, he'll be right in the mix to challenge for the title within the next year to 18 months," said Lakusta.

"His record puts him in the world's Top 25 right now, but he's still got some stuff to work on. That's why we're not rushing things.

"What I really like about Tye is that he's a listener and a learner. From his last fight (KO6 of Nicolai Firtha in June) to now, his footwork has improved by 60%, at least. For a big guy like him, that's the key: relax and use your legs to move in behind a stiff jab."

Fields, a natural southpaw who briefly flirted with an orthodox stance while helping Cris Arreola prepare for a WBC title challenge against Vitali Klitschko last month, said his improved mobility is no accident.

"Kenny's got me moving in and out a lot more than I ever did before," he said.

"It was tough when I was punching right-handed, but now that I've gone back to southpaw, I think I'm a lot more confident moving forward and side to side."

As to their long-term goals, Fields and Lakusta agreed the time is ripe to up the stakes.

"There are a lot of ex-world champions out there, but three of them -- Shannon Briggs, Hasim Rahman and Evander Holyfield -- would all offer the kind of challenge we're looking to land for Tye in 2010," said Lakusta.

"It would be great to put that fight here in Edmonton, because by that time Tye should be ranked in the world's Top 20, which is just a step away from a fight with one of the current champs."

In the meantime, Fields wants to keep busy. Assuming he makes short work of Brown, he wants to fight again in January.

"I want to KO Brown within three rounds, then get right back to training for the next one," he said. "I don't want to waste any time."

murray.greig@sunmedia.ca


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