Boxing: Record beckons Rhodes
Saturday 13 December 1997
Just 23 days past his 23rd birthday, Rhodes tackles the more experienced Canadian southpaw Otis Grant for the vacant World Boxing Organisation middleweight title at the Ponds Forge international centre.
It is a sizeable rise in class for a prospect of 16 professional fights and, if Rhodes passes the examination, he will become Britain's youngest world champion since Jack "Kid" Berg in 1930.
Technology is being provided for soul-mate and gym-mate Hamed to watch Rhodes' title attempt by satellite link-up in his hotel room in New York, where he is preparing for next Friday's world title fight with Kevin Kelley.
On the same Saturday a year ago, it was queried whether Rhodes was being thrown in too early against former WBO champion Paul "Silky" Jones for the vacant British light-middle title. But the schedule was spot on. Jones was halted in the eighth and Rhodes was crowned as the youngest British champion for 57 years. And 90 days later he won a Lonsdale Belt outright in record time.
"I think I've been moved along just right," said Rhodes. "I'm prepared to fight for a world title and I think everything's going to plan. I'm always up for it no matter who it is. Having Naz in the gym encourages you, helps you a lot. Naz coming through so young has been a help to me. He's explained things, told me what is going to happen and how to handle it."
The Jamaican-born Grant, 29, comes with a sound pedigree. He was unlucky only to draw with former champion Lonnie Bradley in March. Grant was awarded a re-match but Bradley had to give up the title because of retina trouble. His only defeat in 30 fights came against the World Boxing Council champion Quincy Taylor in 1994 and has 17 stoppages on his record.
Grant has thoroughly prepared for this fight and arrived in Britain more than a month ago to acclimatise properly. That is the measure of how seriously he is taking Rhodes.
Can Rhodes climax a quite outstanding 12 months? It will be tough but he may gradually wear down Grant to force the late stoppage he is predicting.
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Hong Kong protests: Leung Chun-ying denies Chinese troops will help to quell demonstrations
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
- < Previous
- Next >
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Science Supply Teacher position...
£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Randstad Education is recruiting ...
£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Experienced Teaching Assistants ...
£18000 - £19000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Team Leader required ...