Shawn Porter feels that sparring with Lydell Rhodes was just what Manny Pacquiao needed

Shawn Porter speaking inside of the H.I.T. Factory Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo: Chris Robinson –


By Chris Robinson

When undefeated lightweight prospect Lydell Rhodes revealed to us last month that he had been chosen as a chief sparring partner for eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao ahead of his rematch with Tim Bradley, it was easy to spot his exuberance.

An Oklahoma native now living in Las Vegas, Rhodes is nimble on his feet and very sharp with his punches, making him a reasonable fit for sparring, though it should be noted that reports from Pacquiao’s camp have the Filipino star looking in top form with the fight a little over three weeks out.

IBF welterweight titlist Shawn Porter has sparred several rounds with Pacquiao over the past few years and he also had a few sessions with Rhodes last year in Las Vegas while getting ready for his match with Phil Lo Greco last May.

Having been in the trenches with each man, Porter isn’t surprised to hear that Rhodes has hung tough thus far.

“I’ve been in the ring with Lydell,” said Porter. “He actually gave me a little bit of trouble the few times I’ve been in the ring with him. He’s really awkward. He’s kind of wild and unorthodox. Which is what I think Manny needs.

“I think at times in all of his fights, Timothy gets a little unorthodox and tends to let loose,” Porter added. “That’s going to be a good look for Manny.”

When informed that Pacquiao has reportedly been looking solid in his training, Porter seemed to expect as much.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Porter revealed. “Manny, he’s a veteran in this sport. Not only that, he’s still at the top of his game. I think many people count him out because of what’s happened in his last few fights, but I think as long as the old Manny shows up, I think he’ll win this fight.”

Presented by Top Rank, Pacquiao-Bradley II goes down on April 12 on HBO pay per view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has thus far been a fairly close bet according to oddsmakers at

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