Lydell Rhodes is an undefeated light welterweight contender, and a fighter now looking to break out on the big boxing scene with his recent move to sign with powerful advisor, Al Haymon. Rhodes made his national television debut on the undercard of the Porter vs. Brook fight, and seems ready to face tougher competition to get to his goal of winning a world title belt.
In my interview with Lydell Rhodes, I discuss with him his latest appearance in the ring and where he would like to go next after the win. Rhodes also gave his views on the recent Porter vs. Brook result and if he thinks Keith Thurman would be a good fight for Kell Brook. Additional Lydell talks about his former sparring mates’ upcoming bout with Chris Algieri. Here is what Lydell Rhodes had to say.
Jenna J: You recently beat John Nater by 4th round TKO, how do you feel about your performance?
Lydell Rhodes: I came to show that I can box, establish my jab, that was one of the main things I wanted to do, it was a big focus. There’s still a lot more that I can bring to the table, a lot more tools that are left in the bag. As I get some more big fights, I’ll be able to show what else I can do, but that was just the main thing I wanted to show, that I can box a little more than just bang.
Jenna J: You got your biggest exposure to date, you were shown on Showtime Extreme. How do you feel that more fans got to see you?
Lydell Rhodes: Like I said, I just wanted to show I can box. This was my biggest fight to date because there’s still hardcore boxing fans out there that still like fighters that jab and don’t just go out there and brawl.
I wanted to show everyone — since this was my first fight on TV — that I was a boxer. From here on out, I’ll show that I can do everything else. I’m just glad that I got the victory and got to be on there, hopefully I made a couple of new fans that night.
Jenna J: The commentators were joking that you begged them to say that you were 5’5” instead of 5′ 4½”. Any truth to that?
Lydell Rhodes: (laughs) Man, everybody that knows me knows I’m 5’7”, they’re doing something wrong with the ruler. Yeah, you know I always like to joke around, I got little man syndrome. Steve Farhood and those guys are real cool, so we’re all in the back joking around — at my expense about how short I was — but it was cool, I liked them.
Jenna J: After this win, what kind of fighters are you looking for? What kind of match ups do you see for yourself?
Lydell Rhodes: I’m just ready for all the big fights, it doesn’t really matter who it is. As long as it’s a big name and a big fight, I’m with it. Like I told everyone, I’ll go down to 135lbs, but if the match up is right for me at 147lbs, I’ll fight at 147.
Right now, I don’t walk around that big, so it’ more likely that you’ll see me campaigning at 135 and 140, but if everything is right, we’ll fight at 147 right now. We’re ready for anyone, we’re trying to make those necessary steps to get to a title.
Jenna J: You mentioned that you’re thinking about 135 and 140, do you think those are more of your true weight classes? You’re not the tallest guy out there, do you think you’ll have the most success in those lower weight classes?
Lydell Rhodes: I think most of the top guys at 147 and 140, I don’t think their height is gonna have too much to do with it because the guys at 147, they’re not really too much taller than the guys at 140. The main guys are all around the same height, between 5’8” and 5’10”, so I don’t think it’s gonna be too much of a height difference or disparity between the two weight classes.
I’d say it’s more the power and size of the guys, the guys are a bit bigger. You see a guy like Keith Thurman who is just huge, just like Kell Brook, they’re big guys. They have around the same height as the guys at 140lbs but they’re just a little bit bigger. That would be the main thing — the weight that they put on after the weigh ins.
As far as height, that’s not too big of a concern to me because I’ve always been the shorter guy, so it’s gonna be nothing new to me. Since I started boxing, I’ve had to deal with that. I was a football player, so I started out weighing 180lbs, so I was fighting at 165lbs when I first made my way down. I’m used to fighting tall guys, so that’s not gonna be too much concern to me, I’m game for anything.
Jenna J: Kell Brook beat Shawn Porter on the same card as you. People are talking a lot about what’s next for him. Kell mentioned Keith Thurman, there’s also the big potential fight with Amir Khan. Who do you think he should fight next?
Lydell Rhodes: Honestly, I think that he should stay away from Keith Thurman because I think Keith Thurman is a monster in the sport. People don’t want to admit it, but I think he scares and makes a lot of people nervous because he can punch, he can box and he’s big and strong for the weight class.
If he goes towards Amir Khan, that would be a huge fight over there in the UK. I think in the boxing world that would be a huge fight now that everyone has seen how good Kell Brook is. I think that would be a good fight and I think he has a pretty decent chance of winning that fight, probably a 50-50 fight in my eyes.
Kell and Keith, I don’t know. Kell doesn’t hit the way I think Keith Thurman hits. I think Keith will have a good chance of maybe hurting him pretty bad, if not stopping him. I’d stay away from Keith Thurman. If I was in his position that’s what I would do because that’s a dangerous fighter right there.
Jenna J: Lets turn things to a fighter that you worked with before, that being Manny Pacquiao. He’s taking on Chris Algieri, do you think that’s a good match up for Manny?
Lydell Rhodes: Honestly, I don’t like that fight with Manny because I think Chris Algieri has a bad style for anyone. He’s a tall, athletic dude who can move and he knows how to fight. Some fighters like Amir Khan in the past, he doesn’t know how to fight his style, he has fast hands, he has footwork to move but he sits inside from time to time and throws too many combinations.
Chris Algieri, he doesn’t really commit, he stays on the outside, circles, moves and throws a lot of straight punches. Bad style for anyone, especially for a shorter fighter. Manny on the other hand, he’s a bad style match up for anyone as well, especially for Algieri because he throws a lot of punches and Algieri tends to put both his hands up and blocks rather than slip punches.
Manny throws so many punches, and if you just put your guard up and then go straight back to the ropes like Algieri does, that’s bad with Manny Pacquiao because he can punch and he’s fast, and he throws a lot of punches. That’s only gonna be momentum for Manny, so I see Manny taking that.
Manny can probably get a late stoppage against Algieri, but Algieri is gonna be game and he matches up real good with Manny. I look at it to be really competitive the first couple of rounds, but then the longer it goes in the fight, he might wear on Algieri with all the punches. I can see him getting a late stoppage, maybe 10th or 11th round, but if not, I got Manny unanimous decision.