Eric Fields is finally set for the biggest fight of his career.
Fields is in South Africa, awaiting Saturday's WBC Silver Cruiserweight championship bout against Illunga Makabu (14-1, 13 KOs). The winner will be in prime position to fight for a world title.
The fight will air at 9:30 a.m. central on beIN Sports Network, which is available on Dish Network Ch. 408/871 and Direct TV Ch. 620. Fields (22-1, 16 knockouts) said he's been waiting on this fight his entire career.
"I've been really, really anxious for this fight," Fields said via phone earlier last week in Canada, the site of his prematch training. "In the beginning, for maybe the first three weeks, it was fairly easy for me to contain my composure. But they last few weeks, I've had to force myself from overdoing it, overtraining."
The younger Makabu, 25, will provide a challenge for the seasoned Fields, who hasn't lost since 2008. Makabu, a native of the Congo who resides in South Africa, comes into the fight with a sterling record himself, winner of 14 bouts — 13 via knockout.
"He's a southpaw, which I had problems with early in my career," Fields said. "He's what you'd call a pressure fighter — he doesn't have big explosive punches, but he has a lot of medium-style punches, where he can punch with the same intensity for the whole 12 rounds.
"But even before I came here to his training camp (in Canada), I think I had the experience, I had the knowledge to beat this fighter I'm going against."
Fields traveled to South Africa with his trainer, Frankie Dugay, his uncle Carl Fields and his cut man Bob Miller. He said the support system he's had has helped him immeasurably, particularly during his hiatus from the ring last year.
He's glad to have them along. He's also ready to fight.
"With all the problems in the last couple of years, with fights being cancelled, postponed and everything, I know it made me more eager and more hungry for the big fight," Fields said. "It's been put in my face for so long, so many times I reach out for it and it's pulled away from me. It's kinda drived me crazy.
"You train every day to reach that goal. Now that I finally get the chance to do it, I'm so hungry for it. I'm starving for it right now."
Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD