Ryan Rhodes Vs. Antonio Margarito?

by James Slater - 33-year-old Sheffield stylist Ryan Rhodes, the reigning European 154-pound champion, is hugely excited about the very real possibility of him facing Mexico's Antonio Margarito later this year, in a match that would contest the vacant WBC light-middleweight title (which has been vacated by Sergio Martinez, who will remain at middleweight).

Rhodes, 44-4(30), who meets Czech Republic's Lukas Konecny on Frank Warren's upcoming September 18th show in Birmingham, has told Sky Sports news how he may face the disgraced Mexican after that (providing he wins of course)..

"Margarito is number-one with the WBC [at 154-pounds] and I'm number-two," Rhodes explained. "It's a dream fight for me and it looks like it can happen if I win in September. I'd be too fast and strong for him. I campaigned for seven or eight years at middleweight and more than held my own. Fighting him is a mouth-watering prospect."

Indeed, though Rhodes' name may not be all that familiar to a good number of Mexican and U.S fans, his talent is well known and respected here in the U.K; and his high ranking with the WBC means a title fight for the green belt is almost certain to happen for him - some 15 years after the classy southpaw turned pro! And a fight between Rhodes and "Tony" sure would be an interesting clash of styles.

Of course, 32-year-old Margarito, 38-6(27) is a fighter well know to practically all fight fans; due mostly to the now infamous "hand-wrap scandal" the Mexican's losing fight with Shane Mosley caused. Still not licensed to box in America as a result of the things that went on in the dressing room moments before the January 2009 welterweight title fight, Margarito could possibly face Rhodes in Mexico. And Rhodes says that would be no problem for him at all.

"He hasn't reapplied for his license to fight in the United States but of course I'd go to Mexico to face him," Rhodes said. "There's a shadow over his win against Miguel Cotto, because of his ban after the Mosley fight, but it was a lovely fight to watch but terrible to be involved in.

"By the end of this year I should be fighting for a world title, preferably against Margarito for the WBC belt."

If this fight does come off, it will be fascinating to see how Mexican and U.S fans view Rhodes' chances of winning. Margarito has had just one return fight since being smashed by Mosley - his May points win over Roberto Garcia - and as such, we don't know how much he has left. Rhodes, though, despite being quite long in the tooth at age 33 (he turned pro at just 19) has been looking great recently. An underrated puncher (see his stoppage of the tough Jamie Moore), as well as being a crafty, fast-handed boxer who has picked up a ton of experience over the years, Rhodes' style would, in my opinion, give Margarito fits.

Would "The Tijuana Tornado's" sheer pressure and relentless attitude get to Rhodes eventually, or would the Sheffield man's skills shine in a big, big win for him? Assuming Rhodes, the one-time "Spice Boy," can take care of Konecny on Warren's huge bill, we may find out!

Article posted on 02.07.2010

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