By Phil D. Jay
Ex-champion hoping fellow-Yorkshireman can upset Alvarez
Former IBF light-heavyweight champion Clinton Woods has thrown his weight behind Ryan Rhodes as he challenges Mexican superstar Saul Alvarez for the WBC light-middleweight title in Mexico on June 18th in his second world title tilt, thirteen and a half years after his first.
The 34 year-old from Sheffield, goes into the lion’s den this summer in an attempt to inflict a first defeat in 38 bouts on “El Canelo” and Woods believes that the two-time British champion has nothing to lose when he steps in the ring with the 20 year-old champion.
“I am very pleased for Ryan, he hasn’t lost at light middleweight, it’s his best weight, and he has the experience needed at that level,” Woods told The Sheffield Star.
“If he fights overseas there won’t be any pressure on him, he can just go out there and perform.
“Ryan has fought world class fighters and in the middle of his career took time away from the ring so I think he will be relatively fresh.”
Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO’s), has the experience advantage over Alvarez and has studied his fight with fellow-Brit Matthew Hatton earlier this month in preparation for, what looks on paper, to be a daunting task for the former European champion.
“He is a good fighter and I am working on the things he does well,” he said.
“For instance, he puts his shots together well and he is accurate - he caught Matthew a few times.
“But I won’t be available to hit - he won’t know how to handle me.”
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net