Do not count out Ryan Rhodes just yet!
By Ben James: We are less than one week away from the WBC light middleweight title fight between champion Saul Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KO’s) and veteran contender Ryan Rhodes (45-4-0, 31 KO’s) in Mexico.
Young hotshot Alvarez seems to be the favourite to win, but I cannot help thinking that so far he has had everything his own way and has fought nobody of real note except an ageing Lovemore N’dou and a blown up welterweight in Matthew Hatton.
The majority of pundits seem to be writing off Rhodes, not giving him a chance of beating the undefeated Mexican. I feel this is a mistake for several reasons.
For a start Alvarez has never fought anybody who fights like Ryan Rhodes, that Ingle style unorthodox way of fighting is tricky to prepare for as quality sparring is hard to find and the style itself is so unpredictable.
Rhodes is also undefeated at light middleweight which appears to be the natural weight class for his body frame. He is a big, strong, fast and skilled light middleweight. He also has experience and wisdom on his side.
Do not forget this is also Ryans last chance, if he does not win then he will never become a world champion and will have to settle for competing at European level until he retires. Rhodes knows this, anyone who has followed his career and especially his reinvention / battle to the top over the last 3 years or so knows this is what he’s been aiming for, he has accomplished far more than anyone gave him credit for.
He was wrote off by “experts” in 2006 when he fought Gary Lockett while injured for the WBU middleweight title. Since then he has won the British, WBC international and European light middleweight titles, becoming one of the top 10 ranked light middleweights and number one contender for the WBC strap.
Nobody has handed anything to Rhodes on a plate, he has done this the hard old fashioned way.
Alvarez seems to be looking past this fight, dreaming about fights that will never happen with pound for pound champion Pacman.
This fight is any ones fight, it all depends on who gets it right on the night. Good luck to both fighters.