Heat of battle

Hotting up: Ryan Rhodes says the temperature won't bother him
Hotting up: Ryan Rhodes says the temperature won't bother him

RYAN Rhodes says he is prepared to overcome any “dirty tricks” which may be aimed at him during his world title mission in South America on June 18.

Sheffield’s 34-year-old light-middleweight takes on 20-year-old champion Saul Alvarez in the sweltering temperatures of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Rhodes says: “We believe it will be around 34 degrees Centigrade there at that time of the year (93 deg Fahrenheit).

“But I will be prepared for that and anything else that comes my way.

“I have an inkling that - facing a Mexcian lad in his home town - that there might be a few funny tricks in store.

“I can see the air conditioning system in the Arena being turned off, perhaps, to make it more difficult.

“But I will be fine out there. I love training in the heat; when I was at David Haye’s gym in Cyprus, the temperature there was about 34C and I thought it was gorgeous - I must have been born in the wrong place.”

Rhodes, who went on a family holiday to Mexico last year, said: “It was the best we’ve had and I love the country and can’t wait to go back. I went on a couple of runs in the heat and it was fantastic.

“I will be over there two weeks or maybe even 17 days before the fight so I will be thoroughly acclimatised.

“The promoters (Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy) are a reputable company and will provide the facilities I need.”

Ecclesfield-based Rhodes is supremely confident he can beat a boxer 14 years his junior.

“This is my moment of destiny, I have been dreaming about being a world champion since I was a kid,” he said.

“I am going out there to win.”

Rhodes says the purse he will received for the WBC challenge will be the biggest of his career.

It is more than double what he received back in 1997 for failed bid to beat Otis Grant for the WBO middleweight title.