Ryan gets ready for fight of life

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RYAN Rhodes steps up his training regime this week with some gruelling sparring rounds ahead of him.

The Sheffield light-middleweight, who meets world champion Saul Alvarez in his opponent’s native Mexico on June 18, has been trying to pick sparring partners closest to the South American’s all-action style. Rhodes is hoping to go a few training rounds with Birmingham’s talented Matthew Macklin soon.

“Just recently I have been sparring with (stable-mate) Curtis Woodhouse” said Rhodes. “Curtis does his best to unsettle me. He has the heart of a lion, so they are good sessions. This week I plan to be in Manchester with (St Helens based Commonwealth middleweight champ) Martin Murray and hoping to move on to (Birmingham’s) Matthew Macklin, who boxes for a world title the week after me (WBA Super World middleweight.)

“Macklin and Murray are similar to Alvarez’s strength and style, so it will be useful.” Rhodes said he has been working with trainer Dave Coldwell on technique and a strategy to counter Alvarez’s style. Said the Ecclesfield boxer: ““He’s a come-forward fighter who is in your face constantly.

“He throws lot of punches, all of them designed to try and knock you out.

“I have to make sure I am not available for him to hit. So I am working on defence, leg and head movement, moving side to side so I am in different positions as much as possible. When he has thrown I will be attacking, straight away and hard.” Kell Brook: See P36.