Rhodes slams ‘immature’ rival

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RYAN Rhodes has told his European title rival to ‘grow up’ after he criticised the Sheffielder for pulling out of their Ponds Forge bout on March 24.

Belarussian Sergey Rabchenko seemed unconvinced about the nature of Rhodes’ injury and implied he may be “running away” from the contest, now being re-organised for late May.

Rhodes suffered a back spasm while sparring Welsh middleweight Kerry Hope, a repeat of an injury he has dogged him for 12 years.

Rhodes told The Star: “I have seen boxers being disrespectful to other fighters before and just laugh because they should just grow up.

“My back went when I chucked a left hook into Kerry’s body about ten days ago and I immediately went for advice from the chiropractor. I’m on strong anti-inflammatories and in a few days I will be back in light training.

“Rabchenko will earn the right to say things like he has only when he has achieved half of what I have. He may not respect me now, but he will after I have beaten him.”

Rhodes, 35, said the prospect of an injury enforced retirement had never entered his head. “I’ve come back from worse than this,” he said.