Alvarez’s heavy hands will put Rhodes in trouble
By William Mackay: On June 18th, WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KO’s) looks to defend his World Boxing Council title against a 34-year-old Ryan Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO’s) at the Arena VFG, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. This is the second time in Rhodes’ 16-year pro career that he’s challenged for a title. 14 years ago back in 1997, Rhodes failed in a title challenge against then WBO middleweight champion Otis Grant, losing by a 12 round decision against the American Grant.
Now years later, Rhodes is finally stepping up to the plate for a second at bat, but this time against one of the hardest sluggers in the division in 20-year-old Alvarez. The fight is coming at a bad time for Rhodes, just when his legs are starting to slow down on him and making him more of a stationary fighter compared to the way he used to fight when on the run. Rhodes is now the equivalent of a butterfly with it’s wings cut off. Rhodes can punch a little, but he’s not a huge puncher like Alvarez.
Rhodes needs his wheels to be working at optimum level for him just to survive in this fight. That’s a necessity. But like a lot of fighters that get old, Rhodes’ legs are pretty well gone to the point where he moves at a snail’ pace, even when on the move. Rhodes’ legs look really stiff and heavy. He looks like he had leg weights on each ankle now. This isn’t going to be good for Rhodes. Alvarez punches incredibly hard and he can do this all night long. Alvarez is one of those fighters who doesn’t lose steam on his punches as the fight wears on. he stays powerful and very dangerous.