The £40m party pooper

Pictured at Green Gym Ecclesall Road Sheffield ' Sheffield Boxer Ryan Rhodes, pictured training for his up and coming world title fight with Sa�l Alvarez' in mexico, with  mark willey
Pictured at Green Gym Ecclesall Road Sheffield ' Sheffield Boxer Ryan Rhodes, pictured training for his up and coming world title fight with Sa�l Alvarez' in mexico, with mark willey
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SHEFFIELD fighter Ryan Rhodes today stands between the legendary Manny Pacquiao and the biggest purse in boxing history.

SHEFFIELD fighter Ryan Rhodes today stands between the legendary Manny Pacquiao and the biggest purse in boxing history.

Pictured at Green Gym Ecclesall Road Sheffield ' Sheffield Boxer Ryan Rhodes, pictured training for his up and coming world title fight with Sa�l Alvarez' in mexico, with  mark willey

Pictured at Green Gym Ecclesall Road Sheffield ' Sheffield Boxer Ryan Rhodes, pictured training for his up and coming world title fight with Sa�l Alvarez' in mexico, with mark willey

Pacquiao has been offered £40 million to fight new Mexican poster boy Saul Alvarez - unless 34-year-old Rhodes can pull off a major upset next week.

And he believes he has the tools to do it.

‘Spice Boy’ Rhodes is the mandatory challenger for the World Boxing Council light-middleweight belt belt against 20-year-old Alvarez in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sunday, June 19.

The odds seem heavily against him.

There’s a 14-year age gap and he will have to acclimatise to the 5,200 feet altitude to snatch the crown from the tough Mexican in his own backyard.

Red menace Alvarez - nicknamed Canelo because of his unusual red hair - has a lot to lose including a fight lined up for next spring against Filipino idol Pacquaio, generally regarded as the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

It was reported this week that Carlos Slim, the telecommunications mogul worth in excess of $60 billion, is planning the mega-fight in front of a 95,000 crowd in Mexico City’s Aztec Stadium.

But Rhodes, who has won 45 of his 49 fights with 31 knockouts, reckons he has the power, fitness and experience to upset the plans and see off the young kid who overwhelmed Ricky Hatton’s brother Matthew in a points victory to win the title.

“This time, I’m the bigger, stronger man and I’m also the more mature fighter,” said Rhodes, the European and twice British champion. “I’m bringing the belt home to Sheffield. Matthew is a welterweight and not a big puncher. He stepped up to light-middleweight and went the distance with Alvarez. It was a good fight, but he was just too big for him.

“He’s an unbeaten Mexican, but he’s never fought anyone as big and as strong as me. We are similar in size. He’s 5ft 8.5 and I’m 5ft 9ins. There’s not much in it.

“But I’ve campaigned up at middleweight. He’s never been past 11 stones. I’ve been up to 11st 6lbs, and had a good three or four years at middleweight.

“Moving back down to light-middleweight, which is 11 stones, I feel I’m the bigger, stronger man in this fight and that’s going to be a massive factor.”

He failed in his only previous world title challenge, against Otis Grant 13 years ago.

Like the other three defeats in his career, that came when he moved up to middleweight and he says: “I’m a much more dangerous puncher at light-middle.”

Rhodes’ trainer David Coldwell believes his fighter can beat Alvarez who he claims makes a lot of mistakes and lacks experience.

The fight will be screened live on Sky.

Watch our video chat with Ryan Rhodes at sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/video