Lightweight contender, Lydell Rhodes is looking to make his return early this year and continue his winning streak on route to an eventual title shot. Rhodes is currently 25-2-1 and is hoping to make a move down to 130lbs to compete against the best in that weight class.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Lydell Rhodes I get his thoughts on his sparring mate Manny Pacquiao and the potential world tour to end Pacquiao’s career. Rhodes also gives his views on a Pacquiao – Crawford bout and if Mayweather vs. Pacquiao would have been better off never happening. Additionally, Lydell talks about when he will be returning to the ring. Here is what Lydell Rhodes had to say.
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao will be taking on Jeff Horn in Australia and Bob Arum has hinted that he might do a world tour with Pacquiao after that. Do you think they are trying to cash in a little before taking a big risk In Crawford?
Lydell Rhodes: I think it’s smart on the business end and for the fans. There’s all kinds of people around the world that don’t have the means to travel all the way to America to see any of Pacquiao’s fights. If he travels to the UK, it would be a sell out because UK people love fighting and if he fights a UK fighter like Kell Brook, it would be a sell out. Amir Khan has said things about Pacquiao, so that would also be a big fight. In Australia there are a lot of die-hard fans so it will probably sell out when he fights Jeff Horn. I think it’s a good thing for fans and for Manny, to make money before he exits.
Jenna J: What do you think of a potential Pacquiao-Crawford bout?
Lydell Rhodes: Terence Crawford is one guy I do feel like he matches up well with Manny Pacquiao, so I would say that would be close to a 50-50 fight, closer than anyone else he’s going to fight right now. I would say that he should get all the money he can just in case it doesn’t pan out the way that he wants and he comes out with a loss and decides to retire.
Go ahead and make the money, low risk-high reward with the fights, especially with a guy that not too many people know outside of Australia. That’s a high rewards fight with a low risk for Pacquiao, so I would take those fights before I take that big risk fight with Terence Crawford. It makes sense at the end of the day, I would do it if I was in his position.
The young hungry lions have to prove themselves, we want to fight the best and Manny has been in there with the best, so there’s no rush for him to continue to fight the best guys day in and day out. Pacquiao can fight a guy like Horn, he’s earned it over his career. If the goal is to finish with Terence Crawford, a guy who is a pound-for-pound guy right now, I’d say do it.
Jenna J: A lot of people think that the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight really hurt the sport. Ever since the fight happened, every other pay-per-view has tanked. Do you think it would have been better for those two to never have fought?
Lydell Rhodes: That’s a tough question. As a hardcore boxing fan, and me being a fan of both of those guys for what they have done for the sport, I’m glad they fought even though I was super let down. I was mad after the fight, I was like, “What the hell is this? This is our Rumble in the Jungle, and it’s a dud.” But if I had to play it over again, yes I would want them to fight because it’s a fight that I wanted to see.
Even though it didn’t turn out the way we wanted to see, I’m still glad that we did get to see it and find out who won. It’s always going to be debatable whether Manny was hurt, would he have beaten him if they fought a few years earlier?
As far as hurting the sport, it probably did. It was a fight where people who don’t even watch boxing or care about boxing tuned in. I was in a party at Vegas and there were a lot of people there that weren’t boxing fans but they had to see the fight. Now they don’t want to see another fight, and now they say that MMA is way cooler. It hurt the sport a little bit, but for the hardcore fans like me, it didn’t do anything to turn me away. As far as getting new fans to boxing, it didn’t help that cause at all.
Jenna J: Turning things back to you, when do you see yourself getting back into the ring?
Lydell Rhodes: It’s looking like February or maybe March. I’m hoping February because I’ve been training my butt off and getting everything right. I’m ready to show the world that the old Lydell is back, the hungry guy who is ready to go out and do whatever it takes to win. Hopefully it’s in February so I can get as many fights in this year as possible. I really want to fight around three or four times, so the sooner the better.