Boxing: Rhodes admits underestimating Alvarez after world title defeat

In the end there was nothing that Ryan Rhodes could do when World Boxing Council light-middleweight champion Saul Alvarez, backed by 15,000 fans in his hometown of Guadalajara, unleashed a savage series of punches in the 12th and last round to force the referee's intervention on Saturday night.

Rhodes, 34, was on his feet, bleeding heavily from a cut cheek, and only blocking half of the vicious punches that Alvarez poured down on his weary head and body. The referee's stoppage coincided with the tiny towel that Dave Coldwell, who has known Rhodes for about 20 years, had thrown in as a further sign of surrender from the Sheffield boxer's corner.

Alvarez, just 20 but with the humourless professionalism of a Mexican veteran, dominated the fight without taking any risks until the bell sounded for the final round. Rhodes tried to twist, turn and block the onslaught but, with his legs and heart suffering at altitude from the constant assault, he looked relieved when it was stopped.

"I watched his last fight and saw flaws but he was bigger, stronger and faster than I expected," admitted Rhodes, who had eight butterfly stitches acrossthe gash on his right cheek. "I found out that he had to lose 25 pounds to make the weight for his last fight; this time his people had him in camp at altitude for six weeks."

Rhodes will probably go back to the European title and wait for a gap or two at world level. Alvarez is gently being groomed and it is likely that during the next five years he will become a major player on the international scene. "I don't feel old and I don't feel like I've reached the end," Rhodes said. "Before this fight I had not lost in five years and I can still compete at an elite level – Alvarez is a very good fighter. It's that simple, no excuses."

On Saturday night Alvarez, professional at 15 and unbeaten in 38 fights, fought sensibly in controlled spurts and always seemed to finish his combinations with a short hook to the body. Rhodes often held back, trying to find a way to counter.

Rhodes had his senses in order at the end when Alvarez's body shots had slowly taken away his desire to fight on. "There was nothing else I could do – I couldn't keep him away," Rhodes said, which perfectly and honestly sums up the fight.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers