DailySport catches up with Ryan Rhodes ahead of his gym launch


PZ:      How you keeping Ryan?


RR:      I’m really good mate. Even better today in fact as I’m proud to announce I’m now qualified to make coffee – certificate and all! We’re going to be having a really nice coffee shop in the gym, so I’ve just been on a course in Bradford for how to make really nice coffee.


PZ:      Sterling stuff Ryan! Mine’s a cappuccino when you have a moment. Apart from being a newly qualified top barista, what else have you up to since retirement?


RR:      I was hanging around Dave’s (Coldwell) gym, doing some circuit and fitness training, when I got approached by Curtis Woodhouse. Curtis’s son plays football for Rotherham United, which was close to Dave’s gym, so he said, when he dropped his son off, would it be alright to do some circuits with me. I said, ‘No problem.’ We started from there and it just snowballed.


I’d trained with Curtis for about four or five years before that, and knew what he did well and what aspects he could improve on and it went from there.  Then I started working with Ross Burkinshaw and a few other professional boxers who wanted me to train them.


I sincerely never expected to be a trainer. It started with helping a few lads out doing some circuit training, keeping them fit and losing weight, to starting an incredible new journey.


In the last two years it’s been unbelievable. Curtis has won the British (super lightweight) title, and Ross has won the Commonwealth (bantamweight) and a few weeks ago won the WBO European title.


I’m extremely proud of the both of them. Many people had written Ross off because he suffered three losses on the bounce a couple of years ago, but the fighter from then and now are two totally different people. Ross won two big titles in two fights. He’s the real deal and has more to come.


Curtis’s intention to turn from pro football player to boxer was all over the press at the time, but I remember the exact moment when Curtis told me about his ambition. I was in the dressing room having my bandages put on by Dave Coldwell at a show in Barnsley, when Curtis walked in and Dave introduced us. When he told me that he wanted to do, I told him, ‘Are you crazy?? Seriously!’ He told me he wanted to become British champion.


When he won the British title, it was as special to me as when I won it. I’m pretty sure there’s nobody else in history that has been a Premiership football player and a holder of the British title. I doubt there will be another for a long time. What he’s achieved is simple incredible and pays tribute to his hard work and talent.


PZ:      How close have you been to making a comeback?


RR:      It’s only got as close as a thought. I’ve never been tempted to take it beyond that.


I walked into the gym at the age of six, turned pro at 18 and retired at 36. Thirty years is a long time. I think I achieved everything possible in the fight game and to make a comeback, especially if it didn’t work out, would only ruin what I’d previously achieved.


PZ:      Tell me more about the gym.


RR:      The gym is called Pow Fitness, based in Sheffield Town centre and is partnered by myself and a guy called Mathew Balme.


When we were training at Dave Coldwell’s gym, we were very lucky indeed to have a fantastic couple of years there making champions with the likes of Curtis and Ross, but we decided needed more space if we wanted to progress further and possibly start a new business venture.


I sat down with Mathew one day and we decided to open a gym in the centre of Sheffield, in order to attract a heavy footfall in an accessible part of town. After viewing a few buildings, we saw what was the old Mothercare building and it was massive. It was a no brainer. After about nine months of sorting out the administration, we were handed the keys just before Christmas and since then, the builders have been transforming it. So far so good.


The opening is this Thursday (12th March 2015) and a number of pro boxers have confirmed their attendance, including world champ Kell Brook and legend, Sugar Ray Leonard. The time is midday and everyone is welcome.


PZ:      Fundamentally, what are you trying to achieve at the gym?


RR:      Having been a pro boxer for many years, I’m in tune with exactly what is needed to be in peak condition and want to be able to offer that knowledge and advice in surroundings that will not only push them to their maximum, but will make them want to come back again and again.


Fighters not only need trainers, they need physios, masseurs, dieticians, strength and conditioning trainers, and a number of other people. I’m putting these provisions all under one roof, so they don’t need to travel all round the country.


There’s also dance studios and great general fitness facility, with up to 35 classes per week. Come and take a look.


PZ:      You’ve been lucky enough to train with some incredible champions and picked up some great techniques over the years. Are any of the old Wincobank drills and techniques spilled over into this gym?


RR:      Absolutely. It’s a winning formula, so why would I not want to pass on some of the Ingle’s winning techniques to future potential champions. The bulk is obviously my own training pattern, but I certainly wouldn’t want to hold back some of the magic that was instilled in me over 22 years.


PZ:      Contact details for those wanting to train? (TW, FB, ETC)


RR:      Twitter is @powuk

Tel is 01412675600

Address is  200-202, Eyre Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire,S1 4QZ


PZ:      How do you see the Floyd/Manny fight panning out?


RR:      I think it’s going to be a really close fight. People writing Manny off must be crazy. If I had to put my house on it I would slightly favour Floyd, but I really think it’s going to be a hard fight. Split decision to Mayweather.







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