Defiant Ryan vows to battle on

Mexico's Saul Alvarez, right, and England's Ryan Rhodes compete during a boxing fight for the WBC super welterweight title in Guadalajara, Mexico, Saturday, June 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar)
Mexico's Saul Alvarez, right, and England's Ryan Rhodes compete during a boxing fight for the WBC super welterweight title in Guadalajara, Mexico, Saturday, June 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar)
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DEFIANT boxer Ryan Rhodes today returned from Mexico after losing a third world title shot but vowed to fight on, saying: “I’m not finished yet.”

The 34-year-old was stopped in the 12th and final round with a flurry of body shots from rising superstar and WBC light-middleweight champ Saul Alvarez, aged 20

Rhodes was already heavily behind on points after being outboxed for most of the fight by the Mexican poster boy.

The Sheffield fighter said he had under-estimated the young man’s power and strength.

It was Rhodes’ third tilt at a world title - he lost on points against Otis Grant in 1997 then against Gary Lockett in 2006 for the WBU then WBU middleweight titles. He had never lost at light-middleweight but Alvarez, 14 years his junior, proved too much for him.

The referee stopped the fight, as Rhodes’ corner team threw in the towel, as he was taking a beating in the dying moments.

But Rhodes said he plans to continue to pursue his boxing dreams.

He said: “I’m still not finished. I’ve still got plenty of good years in me yet. I’m still loving the game. I never lost my European title or gave it up. So I’m still number one in Europe, I could fight for that and see where we go from there.”

Rhodes said of Alvarez: “He’s a strong young kid - I was beaten by a superstar of world boxing. His body shots took their toll on me through the fight. Then he caught me with a couple of good body shots in that final round.”

n Fight analysis: P41