By James Blears
Jalisco, Mexico - Showing sings of battery plus wear and tear around his cheerful, but rueful face, at the post fight press conference, Rhyan Rhodes grinned broadly and conceded: "There's no doubt. I've been beaten by a superstar. Make no mistake about it. I came here to win, and I was in the best shape of my entire career. But I fought a fantastic fighter in Canelo tonight.
"I boxed a superstar. Believe me when I tell you. I've sparred and trained all over the world with great champions, and the kid's a superstar. He seemed to keep his cool completely from round one to round twelve, he didn't waste many shots, and he was very accurate with his punches. His body punches carried real power and it slowed me up. He also looked quite a bit bigger than at the weigh in.
"I've learned and proved that I can fight at altitude. The heat was completely different to fighting in England. When I arrived in the changing room tonight, it was like being in a sauna."
Asked about a future clash between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Rhodes said it would be a mouth watering prospect within a year to eighteen months when both have built up their profiles a little more. He also stressed that he has his own personal opinion of who will win, quipping: "You've only got to look at me!"
Quarter of an hour later, still fresh faced and totally unmarked Saul Canelo sat down to a cheering audience. He said it been fantastic to have his first defence in front of his local fans. He modestly inisited that he doesn't feel like a superstar at all, but was pleased that his best training ever, which was in Big Bear, had paid off handsomely, and that he'd been calm, focused and had tried to box intelligently throughout the fight.
Canelo said Ryan Rhodes had switched from southpaw to conventional and this had proved a touch difficult, but he'd mastered how to cope with it, as well as the mobility and speed. He also readily conceded that he'd come into the ring a solid five kilos heavier than he'd been at the weigh in 24 hours before the opening bell.