By Mark Vester
British junior middleweight Ryan Rhodes insists that he will succeed where countryman Matthew Hatton failed. Hatton moved up in March to face Saul "Canelo" Alvarez for the vacant WBC 154-pound title. Hatton was too small and had no power in his punches to get the job done. Rhodes, who previously fought at middleweight, predicts a very different outcome when he challenges Alvarez on June 18 in Mexico.
"To be fair, it's not about what I have to do differently to Matthew because I'm a naturally bigger, stronger person than him. Matthew tried to outbox him and you could see that Alvarez basically had no respect for his power. He walked through whatever was thrown at him," Rhodes told The Sun. "But I can tell you 100% there's no way he's going to walk through me."
Alverez is 14 years younger and has the homefield advantage, but it won't prevent Rhodes from standing toe to toe to trade big punches in Guadalajara.
"I've not even been thinking about it to be honest, it doesn't bother me at all. If anything, there's more pressure on him because he's fighting on home turf. There's going to be 15,000 Mexicans screaming at him expecting him to win so I think all the pressure's on him rather than me. As for the age, it doesn't bother me because all it means is I've got more experience than him," Rhodes said.
"I'm fitter than I've ever been and my conditioning is spot on. Obviously he is younger than me but I've got the years, the maturity and the boxing brain over him."