Lightweight prospect Lydell Rhodes on his way to the Philippines to begin sparring with Manny Pacquiao

Lightweight prospect Lydell Rhodes inside of the South Point Casino in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon (Photo: Chris Robinson –


By Chris Robinson

For the past few years we’ve had the chance to cover budding lightweight Lydell Rhodes (19-0, 9 KO’s) in and out of the ring around the Las Vegas scene.

A comedian while not in training, Rhodes possesses some serious talent and is one of the quickest prospects in the city.

The latest news with the 26-year old Rhodes is that he will be serving as a chief sparring partner to eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao in advance of his April 12 rematch on HBO pay per view against Tim Bradley.

Rhodes confirmed the news with on Tuesday afternoon and was able to meet up with us inside of the South Point Casino to speak further on some of the details.

Rhodes is set to leave for Los Angeles later tonight for a brief pit stop before venturing on a trek to the Philippines for the start of camp. Rhodes expects to stick around for the entire camp, which means he would then leave with Pacquiao and the team on March 1 for a return to Los Angeles to finish things out.

Rhodes spoke with curiosity and excitement about what it will be like to be with Pacquiao in the fighter’s native General Santos City.

“Over there, just to see how Manny gets treated over there,” Rhodes said of Pacquiao, who is an icon in his homeland. “It’s going to be like riding around with the president.”

Even though Pacquiao has an awkward style that is hard to define, Rhodes knows very well that he will be matching up with someone with invaluable championship experience.

“Frist off, I just want to say it’s an honor to get into the ring with him,” Rhodes said. “I know it will be a huge learning experience. He’s got to be really crafty. Even though it just looks like he’s moving around throwing a lot of punches, I know he’s going to be smart. I look forward to learning.”

At the end of the day Rhodes seems simply to be relishing the chance to test himself against one of this generation’s best.

“As a fighter I think he’s one of the greatest athletes that’s ever done it,” Rhodes said. “How quick he is and how he moves. To being off balance and throwing with such power, it’s just crazy. He’s one of the best athletes and accomplished a lot.”

Stay tuned for more updates from Rhodes on his time in camp with Pacquiao.

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