RYAN RHODES is flying to America to work with arguably the world’s greatest trainer, Freddie Roach, who has guided the careers of the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson and now Amir Khan.
The Sheffield light-middleweight will pick up tips at the ‘Wild Card’ boxing gym in Los Angeles as he prepares to move towards European and hopefully world titles.
“Scott Quigg (Bury superbantam) has been several times and he suggested to me that I should go over because the sparring is something else out there,” Rhodes said.
“There are some fantastic fighters in the gym - second to none - and the change of environment and the different styles and demands will do me the world of good” added the 34-year-old southpaw.
“Dave Coldwell (his Rotherham trainer) said I should take up the opportunity or I’ll spent the rest of my life kicking myself. With that quality of training and that degree of competitive sparring it’s too good to miss out on.”
Against whom Rhodes will eventually inflict his enhanced skills upon - in his 50th professional fight - remains to be determined as nothing is pencilled in for definite.
Rhodes was stripped of his European title last year after pulling out of a fight because of injury.
In 2011, he wants the belt back from Czech-born Lukas Konecny, who seized it in September and defended it successfully in December.
“That is my priority - this guy has only borrowed my title” said the Ecclesfield boxer. “There has also been talk with Frank Warren about an IBF Intercontinal title fight but the guy I’d be facing is a lot lower down the rankings than I am so it wouldn’t be the path I would benefit from taking.”
The WBC has also been mulling over a televised light-middleweight tournament - but Rhodes says that appears to have been put on the back burner.