Title hunting Ryan is ready to defy odds

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RYAN RHODES hopes that his world title rival’s last victory may lead to his undoing in Mexico on Sunday.

Reigning WBC light middleweight champion Saul Alvarez outpointed Matthew Hatton in his last battle and moves on to another Brit, in the form of Sheffield’s Rhodes, as his first defence.

Rhodes told The Star: “With him beating an Englishman last time, maybe he thinks it will be easy this time. I hope he does.”

Rhodes would never denigrate Hatton, who like him, is promoted by brother Ricky.

But privately Rhodes thinks Alvarez will have to contend with much more skill and power this weekend, compared to his victory over Hatton in March.

“Golden Boy (Alvarez’s promoters) have already been looking to organise a fight for him in November, against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr or Ricardo Mayorga,” he said.

“I love it that they have been looking past me!

“The only fight that they will be trying to organise is a re-match with me. It’s brilliant: keep on talking boys!”

Rhodes shrugs off the fact he’s the not the bookies’ favourite for the encounter.

“I am underdog in people’s eyes, even the Hattons. The Mexicans do not know much about me.

“But nobody over in Britain had heard about Alvarez until he beat Matthew Hatton. It works both ways.”

Good luck messages have been swarming into The Star by email, Facebook and Twitter.

They include:

Lisa Laughton: ”Good luck Ryan...x”

David Hyman:”Do Sheffield proud Ryan; u can do it all the best “

Jay Gabbitas: “Good luck big man.”

Sharon Hinsley: “All the best Ryan! I know you’ll win x”

Stevie Gerech: “Good luck Ryan bring the belt back home”

Katy Allan: “You should have your name on a plaque outside the town hall like Clinton!”

Martin Colman: “Come on ryan. Bring back that belt!”

Wayne Allert: “Loving watching Ryan prepare via @davidcoldwell and his YouTube channel, Ryan isnt fazed one bit, I’ll have everything crossed!”

Danny Mac: “Big shout out to @davidcoldwell and Ryan Rhodes for their big night. Best of luck - bring the green belt home!”

Josh and Harry Walker: “Bring the world title back. We’re backing you.”

cheryll: “Good Luck Ryan we will all be rooting for you Cheryll, Roy & Sarah x.”

3Tony1: “Drinks will be flowing early Sunday morning when you win.”

2alihartopp: “Good luck Ryan, look forward to watching you win the title on Sunday morning!”

1bdtbl: “Good luck ryan. From all the Livett clan.”

Glyn Rhodes: “All of Sheffield is behind you, good luck pal.”

Ryan as you have never seen him before: go to thestar.co.uk/boxing

Betting: Betdaq make the Mexican favourite at 1.14 (1/7), Totesport and Paddy Power offer an odds-on 4/7 for him to stop his opponent and Betfred post 5/2 against the title holder retaining his title via a decision.

Rhodes however is 6/1 with Stan James to turn Alvarez over and 14/1 (Ladbrokes) to prevail on the judge’s scorecards, although the Sheffield scrapper will find it tough to be favoured on points on foreign soil - he may need to knock Alvarez out, an outcome priced by Coral at 8/1.

The fight is 17/10 courtesy of Sportingbet to go the distance and 2/5 to not last 12 rounds while bet365 offer 5/6 for the bout to reach at least the 10th and 5/6 for it to end before the 9th.

Local punters confident that Rhodes will return to the city a world champion, can back him at a chunky 66/1 (Victor Chandler) to KO Alvarez in the 8th.

William Hill also offer 66/1 for Ryan Rhodes to secure a dramatic final round stoppage and a draw is chalked up by Partybets at 33/1.

Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com