Sheffield’s Ryan Rhodes faces ‘big challenge’

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ADAM Etches wants his pal Ryan Rhodes to win tomorrow night - but admits it’s a fight too close to call.

The Birley middleweight shares the bill with Rhodes and fellow Sheffield Richard Towers and is confident of his own victory against Hungarian Ferenc Zold, at the Velodrome, Manchester.

But he says he is “sitting on the fence” over Rhodes’ European light middleweight match with Belarussian Sergey Rabchenko.

“Obviously I want Ryan to win but he is up against a good kid who is tough and can punch. It’s a good match.

“Ryan is a tidy boxer but is also capable of finishing it early.

“If it goes past six rounds I think it will be down to who is the fittest of the two.”

Etches said that while Rabchencko, 26, is “younger and fresher” than Rhodes, 35, the Sheffielder was a clever and seasoned performer who knows what it takes to win.

Etches, from Birley, will have around 250 fans of his own in the sell-out show. He’s favourite to beat Zold, who has lost three out of four of his last outings. “We tried to get an English opponent” said Etches. “I was matched up five times against people like Jason Ball and Tony Randell but nobody wanted to know. “People expect me to win and that’s a pressure, but I like the pressure of to win and perform well, it keeps me on my toes.”

Intake lightweight Scott Jenkins chases his sixth paid win with a match against Nuneaton’s Kristian Laight. The headline act is Scott Quigg v Rendall Munroe for the WBA super-bantam title.