By Phil D. Jay
WBC light-middleweight title challenger Ryan Rhodes is hoping to have some huge bouts in the twilight of his career as he prepares to take on belt holder Saul Alvarez in Mexico on Saturday night. The 34 year-old, who burst onto the scene in 1995 and acquired the nickname ‘The Spice Boy’, attempts to claim a full world title for the second time, fourteen years after his tight points loss to Otis Griffin.
The Sheffield fighter had a year away from boxing in 2006 after suffering another close points defeat, this time for the fringe WBU world title against Gary Lockett and has come back refreshed and invigorated under David Coldwell. Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO’s), has racked up ten wins since returning in 2007 and admits he lost his passion for the sport at times in the past.
"I became a bit bored, because I wasn't fighting regularly and when I did I was down the queue. I'd fought for a world title and now I was last [on the card] fighting a six-rounder. I thought: 'What am I getting out of it?' It was not nice at all."
Former European champion Rhodes is now fully focused on the daunting task he faces against unbeaten Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KO’s) and is hoping that a win against the 20 year-old Mexican in Guadalajara this week can propel him into some huge Pay-Per-View bouts at 154lb and above.
"I want them big fights. I want the Cotto’s, the Margarito’s," he said. "It might, at last, be time for "Old Spice."
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net