Sheffield’s Ryan Rhodes announced his retirement from boxing today at the age of 35 deciding to bring an end to his 52-fight professional career after losing to Sergey Rabchenko in June.
Rhodes began his career at Brenden Ingles famous Wincobank gym in Sheffield going on to become the youngest post-war holder of the British title when he beat fellow Sheffield light-middleweight Paul ‘Silky’ Jones in just his 10th outing as a professional. he went on to win the belt outright in a record 90 days.
The southpaw stepped up to middleweight to challenge Otis Grant for the vacant WBO strap in 1997, only to lose by unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards.
He again came up just short on the world stage against Gary Lockett nine years later, leading to him dropping back down to light-middle.
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The move led to a late renaissance – a ninth-round KO of Gary Woolcombe saw him get his hands back on the Lonsdale belt again and he then added the European crown by stopping Jamie Moore in a thriller in Bolton.
But after failing to take the WBC title from Mexican Saul Alvarez last year and after failing to conquer Europe again against Sergey Rabchenko in Manchester this year, Rhodes has decided the time is right to call it quits.
Ryan was to move from the Wincobank in later years and was trained and managed by Dave Coldwell up to his retirement. He and Coldwell are very close friends and Ryan has expressed his hopes to help Dave with some of his up and coming boxers in the future.
Coldwell today said of his relationship with Ryan. “End of an era for me today, held a press lunch so my good friend Ryan Rhodes could announce his retirement from boxing to the media.
“It’s Been a fantastic career and I’m proud to have trained, managed and promoted his career over the last 7 years. Proud of you Ryan x” said Coldwell ~ Boxing will miss Ryan Rhodes! All the best mate, enjoy your retirement you deserve it. Thanks for the memories. – BritishBoxers.co.uk
Jones infact- had won the WBO light-middleweight world title by outpointing
Verno Phillips in his previous fight a year before. But Rhodes had too much on the night for Jones and won on points, be it a close majority decision.
“A lot of people were surprised when I was matched with him, but I never questioned Brendan’s judgement, even to myself. said Rhodes at the time.
“I had absolute confidence that I could beat Paul, and so did Brendan and Frank Warren (promoter at the time) – The only worry was the similarity in our styles.
“fighting Paul was like fighting my shadow. It wasn’t that I’d modelled myself on him or on Herol or anyone else. All Brendan’s boys have basically the same style, hit and not get hit. It’s the way he’s been training fighters since he first came to Sheffield, and he was doing it before he had
Rhodes went on to keep the Lonsdale belt outright and in record breaking time, before going on to capture the IBF Inter-Continental light middleweight title against
He was then offered a shot at the vacant WBO middleweight title against Jamaican born Canadian
Otis Grant in December 1997. The step up in weight and class had come too soon for the Spice Boy and he was to suffer his first loss has a professional. Grant took a close but unanimous points decision.
After a year out following the Grant fight, Rhodes was back and over the next five years had 11 fights around the UK circuit, picking up a couple of International straps, but two stoppage defeats against
Jason Matthews and Lee Blundell seemed to have put paid to the Yorkshire man’s plans of becoming a world champion.
But Rhodes (45-4, 31KO’s) is made of a commodity familiar to his Sheffield roots, with a steel determination and utter love for boxing, saw Rhodes dust himself down to return with 10 straight wins before being offered a fight with Welsh WBU middleweight champion
Gary Lockett. In front of his home crowd at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff Lockett retained his title on points, leaving Rhodes to pick up the pieces again.
In June 2007 after another years break from the sport, Rhodes’ began another chapter in his boxing biography, the final chapter.
Since the second coming of Rhodes, he had put the losses and title disappointments behind him with a new found lust for his trade and ditched the old ‘Spice Boy’ image, he embarked on a winning streak that saw him once again claim the British light-middleweight title, twelve years after he held the same Lonsdale belt, stopping
Gary Woolcombe in round 9.
Unfortunately it was one step too far against the young hungry Rabchenko and after getting caught with a left hook to the body at the end of the round Ryan didn’t recover and was stopped in round 7.Five months later Rhodes was back in the ring against Siarhei Khomitski with a 8 round points win, before going on to and trying become a two-time European champion when he went in with Sergey Rabchenko for the vacant belt in June 2012.
And so the last words should be left to the man himself from this point. A fighter who always carried the spring and style of youth throughout his career, Ryan Rhodes.
‘I’ll be 36 in a couple of months and it’s going to take me 18 months to get up to a European title level.
‘I think it’s just the right time to bow out now.
‘I’ve got all my faculties intact and I think I’ve enjoyed a terrific career.
‘I considered going on but I have to think about a lot of things. My daughters are 13 and 10 now and it’s heartbreaking for me to see them upset after a fight hasn’t gone my way.
‘I compared the positives to the negatives and the negatives outweighed the positives.
‘I’m going to stay in the gym. I love training and working with the younger lads and if I can pass on any of my knowledge then that would be brilliant.
‘I’ve got a few options at the moment but it’s early days and I’m going to take some time to think things over.
‘There are a lot of politics in boxing but I’d love to be in the corner with fighters, passing on what I’ve learned over my career.’