“What you see is what you get from Ricky. He knows what fighters want. There is no bull.”
Rhodes’ first step will be to stage a voluntary defence of his title, at Ponds Forge on May 21. If he beats that unnamed opponent, possibly from France or Italy, Rhodes will fight another, mandatory defence against German-based Czech Lukas Konecny.
“After that, I’d hope to be in a position to have a crack at the world title” said Rhodes. The WBC belt is held by Argentina’s Sergio Martinez. But he has gone up a division to box Kelly Pavlik for the WBC and WBO middleweight belts in New Jersey on April 17.
“I can see Martinez staying at middleweight where there are bigger fights to be made and more money” said the Sheffielder. “In which case the title would be vacant.”
Rhodes’match-maker will be Sheffield’s Richard Poxon, who worked with ex world champ Clinton Woods. Rotherham’s Dave Coldwell will continue to train him.