Daily Sport talks to Ryan Rhodes

Daily Sport / Ryan Rhodes

DAILY SPORT catches up with recently retired British Boxing Warrior, Ryan Rhodes.

PZ:      Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Ryan.


RR:      Absolute pleasure.


PZ:      Have you just been training at the gym? I thought you retired?!


RR:      I have, but I’m still training otherwise I’ll end up looking like a barrel ! (PZ laughs!)


PZ:      You have had a very impressive career only dropping 6 losses in a career spanning 52 fights and 17 years.  You seemed to get better towards the end of your career and picked up the star accolade of European Champion, but then consequently went on to lose against one of the current day pound for pound best fighters Saul Alvarez. What was the defining moment that made you say it’s time to hang up the gloves?


RR:      I feel that I’m better than British Title level, and the option was to drop back down to that level and then work my way back up again. I sincerely mean no disrespect to the current British champion Brian Rose, but I feel I’m at European level. I had a few meetings with Ricky Hatton, and to get back up to European level would have taken 18 months, if not longer and at the age of 36, I would not have been far off 39 years old before competing again at European level. Taking that into account I thought it best to stop where I am, with no regrets.


PZ:      Turning back the clocks – who gave you the nickname Spice Boy back in the 1990’s?


RR:      Back in the day, everybody in the Ingle Gym had a nickname. Naz (Naseem Hamed) was the ‘The Prince’, Johnny Nelson was ‘The Entertainer’, Errol (Graham) was the Bomber, and at the time the Spice Girls were the big name, and my career was going great, so Brendan’s son John gave me the nickname Spice Boy and it was received really well and we all had a bit of a giggle about it for a few fights!


PZ:      Who decided to drop the nickname!


RR:      When I lost my hair the name wasn’t appropriate anymore!


PZ:      Looking back over the years, tell us about the people who helped you achieve your glory.


RR:      Initially I started at the Ingle Gym and I owe a massive thanks to the Ingle family, Brendan, John and Dominic. They put me on the road and taught me what I knew at the time and guided me the right way. I won the British Title, International Titles and fought for two world titles whilst at the Ingle Gym. They deserve a massive thank you and were a massive part of my life and my early boxing career.


When I turned 27 years old I decided to leave the Ingles Gym and I moved across to Dave Coldwell who also used to train with Brendan. Dave then left Brendan (on good terms) and started by himself.  I sat down with Dave and soon after joined his camp.


It was a great move as the two years prior I had started to get a little bored with the game, and as I joined Dave it reminded me why exactly I had joined in the first place and I became enthusiastic again and loved training hard again. I had the buzz back in me.


PZ:      Your most memorable fight?


RR:      It would have to be the Alvarez fight.


PZ:      Do you think Prince Naseem retired too early?


RR:      Absolutely. Far too early. When I grew up Naz was somebody I looked up to and when he lost against Barrera (Marco Antonio) I always said he would beat him in a rematch. I always thought he didn’t perform well that night. I’ve seen Naz do things in the gym that I’ve never seen anybody else do before, and was very surprised when he retired when he did.


PZ:      Tell us about the relevance of the tattoo ‘26’ on your arm.


RR:      My two daughters and my wife all have their birthdays on the 26th!


PZ:      So you had the tattoo to remind you not to forget to get them presents?


RR:      (Ryan laughs!) I will have to get the months tattooed next to the number now, especially as I’m getting older!! (PZ laughs!)


PZ:      Could you be tempted by a comeback?


RR:      I’d like to think not. I’d like to think I have achieved everything I wanted to achieve in boxing. The only goal I didn’t reach was the world title. I fought for it three times; four if you count the WBU title against Gary Lockett, who then went on to fight against Kelly Pavlik. I fought some really good fighters out there and although I didn’t win a world title, I can handle that and am happy with my career and what I achieved in it.


Many people who make comebacks are unhappy with how they finished, but I’m personally very happy with my time in boxing. I sometimes see people who are retired by the sport, so I’m happy I decided to retire myself from it with my health intact, my family and my close friends around me.


PZ:      Where will you go from here? Will you still stay in boxing?


RR:      Definitely. I’ve applied for my cornerman’s license. I have a lot to offer to the sport having boxed at every level and would love to help some of the younger kids at the gym looking at progressing with the sport. My sponsor over the last few years POW UK have also offered me some business opportunities.


PZ:      Any regrets in your career?


RR:      To be fair – no. I feel I have done as much as I could and have met some wonderful people along the journey. Only regret was not winning a world title, but as I said earlier I can live with that.


PZ:      Your thoughts on Ricky Hatton lacing up the gloves again?


RR:      Many fighters come back for the money, but that’s not the reason with Ricky. He’s coming back because he has demons and wants to lay those to rest. He was not happy with the way he left the sport after having such an incredible career. I don’t blame him. If it was for money I’d say to him ‘give it a miss’, but because it’s not I wish him the very best of luck and say fair play to him.


I’ve got to say, he’s looking in great shape and he’s been in this condition for a few months now, and still has two months before his fight. He’s not taking the comeback lightly.


PZ:      Your thoughts on Freddie Flintoff embarking on becoming a pro boxer.


RR:      I’m a bit surprised as the reason I thought he left cricket was due to injuries. Cricket is a hard sport, but he is much more likely to pick up many more injuries in the ring than in cricket.  That said, Curtis Woodhouse, a good, good friend of mine was a professional footballer and when he left the sport at 26 to become a boxer everybody laughed and thought he would never achieve anything. Last Friday he won the English Title, and he’s one step closer to fighting for that British Title. So – if Freddie Flintoff wants to put those gloves on, I wish him the very best of luck.


PZ:      Tell the readers one thing about yourself that not many people know?


RR:      I’m a soap addict! I Sky+ all of them. Eastenders, Corrie and Emmerdale!


PZ:      If you could spar three rounds against any past boxing legend, who would it be?


RR:      Marvin Hagler.  Two southpaws.


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