In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” interview with undefeated prospect Lydell Rhodes, I get his thoughts on the different styles of fighting that Mayweather and Pacquiao use and ask him which he thinks is more effective in the ring. I also get Lydell’s views on how he thinks a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight would play out and if he thinks Pacquiao is the same fighter we have seen in the past. Additionally Rhodes gives his prediction for the Bradley- Pacquiao rematch, and talks about his own career goals going forward. Here is what Lydell Rhodes had to say.
Jenna J: Now that you’ve faced Manny Pacquiao’s style in sparring, and you’ve also faced Adrien Broner who tries to fight in the Mayweather style. In your opinion, what’s more effective?
Lydell Rhodes: I can’t tell you who’s more effective–Floyd or Pacquiao–because just me sparring Broner, I have to say, and not throwing any shots at him but I know it’s nowhere near being in there with Floyd. Broner is more stationary and he’ll come right at you, flat footed and tries to sit down on his punches where Floyd is gonna be moving.
I think it would be a hell of a task to get in there with Floyd and land one shot a round. I can’t really tell you who’s more effective, but just being in there with Pacquiao, sometimes it’s hard to keep your composure in there with him, when he gets to throwing shots and feeling his rhythm.
He will throw 5 to 10 punches out of every angle and the best thing that I can do in there is to just slip, slip and just try to roll out of there. Just get out cause the kitchen gets too hot to stay in there, so I gotta pivot out and just get on my bicycle whenever he gets to throwing shots like that.
Jenna: If Pacquiao and Mayweather did get into the ring, how would you honestly see that fight going?
Rhodes: (laughs) That’s a hard question to answer. I’m gonna do like everyone else, I’m gonna answer to the best of my abilities while taking the easy way out. I’d say that it’s a toss up, I give it a 50/50 chance because I think that Manny matches up with Floyd well, he has a lot of speed and he’s a southpaw. But Floyd is Floyd, he has excellent technique and movement which would give everyone problems, so I’d say it’s a 50/50 chance and maybe if they fought 10 times it would go each persons way 5 times.
Jenna: The first fight with Pacquiao and Bradley was very controversial, what are you expecting to happen in the rematch?
Rhodes: Yes, I think the first fight was controversial. I honestly think that Pacquiao won the fight, but I’m a big Tim Bradley fan myself because I believe he’s a winner. The second fight, one thing that I’ve noticed out in The Philippines is they like fighters, they like guys who go out there and fight.
Everyone who comes up, they don’t ask you if I feel he’s gonna win, the first thing they do is ask, “Do you think he’s gonna get the knockout?” I believe he’s gonna go out for the knockout but I think it will still be a close fight, a decision. I think this time they will have the right judges out there around the ring, to give a fair scoring this time.
I’d say that Manny has the upper hand but Bradley is just a winner, he has the thing that you can’t teach, just being a natural winner. He’s undefeated but I just think that he has that factor of him being a winner, he digs deep and does whatever he has to do to win. I still give the upper hand to Manny right now.
I believe he’s gonna go out there looking for the knockout because he’s really aggressive right now in sparring and just the vibe of all the people and how everyone continues to love boxing out in The Philippines. It’s almost like if he gets a decision they’ll say, “Ah you did alright, you did okay.” They’re not really satisfied unless you get the knockout, so I think Manny is gonna go out there looking for the knockout.
Jenna: The biggest question with a lot of fans is, is Manny Pacquiao the same Manny Pacquiao that we’ve seen in previous years? You’ve seen him on tape, now you’ve been in the ring with him, do you think he’s the same fighter he’s always been?
Rhodes: Actually I think he’s the same, if not better. Even if you look back to the Marquez fight–me just watching it, I thought he actually looked better. He was throwing more feints and he was more aggressive than usual. He was doing a lot more, there was a lot more to his game than he does in a lot of his past fights, in that fight.
I think since he got knocked out and it was so bad, that everyone was like “Oh man he didn’t look good in the fight,” he actually looked really good in the fight to me. I’d say in sparring he’s added a lot of new things to his gameplan just from cutting the ring off and doing little things here and little things there that he hasn’t done in the past.
I think that he’s looking really good and there’s a lot more to his game right now than there was in the past. I look for him to have a really, really good outing when he fights Tim Bradley again because of all the small things he’s added to his game that’s gonna make his performance that much bigger and better, just from the small things that he’s doing.
Of course he has the killer instinct as always, I know a lot of people say that since he got into church so much and worshiping a lot more than he had in the past, that it took his killer instinct away, but I think it’s still there, from the way he punches me in sparring.
Jenna: You are scheduled to return to the ring on March 29th, is that fight date still active? What opponent are you looking to face?
Rhodes: Oh yes that day is still accurate. Since I’m doing training camp with Pacquiao, I might as well take on a fight in Oklahoma that day. I just jumped on the card just since I’m gonna be in shape, I might as well get a fight in front of my hometown crowd. We don’t have an opponent scheduled yet because I just set the fight, but hopefully we’ll get an opponent in the next few days.
I’ll go down there, get a fight in and add another W to the record because I’m feeling confident from sparring with Manny that anyone one I get in the ring with will be pretty much a step down. I’ll be ready for anyone after sparring Manny. I’ll get right back to the camp after that weekend, I’ll just go down to Oklahoma on Friday and come right back and finish training camp with Manny.
Jenna: What do you expect before to accomplish in 2014?
Rhodes: In a perfect world, I would like to fight for a world title at lightweight by the end of this year, hopefully around November or December. The next couple of months I’ll talk to promoters and start taking the necessary actions to get me ranked for all the organizations to put me in title contention.
I’ve built up the record and resume, now it’s time to start getting the right fights to get me ranked to where I need to be to be to fight for a world title belt. Hopefully it can happen by the end of this year, if not, we’ll be looking for it in the beginning of next year.
Jenna: You’ve made a lot of new fans over in The Philippines; a lot more people know your name. Is there a message you would like to pass along to all your fans?
Rhodes: I just want to thank everyone, whether it be in The Philippines or in America, or from all over the world. I just thank everyone who is a fan of me and a friend of me. Even if you’re not a fan of friend, thank you for being in the boxing world and just continue to follow me and my career.
I will definitely make it to the top, hopefully sooner rather than later. Thanks guys, I do it for all my fans. Big shout out to everyone from Oklahoma, I couldn’t have done it without you guys.