Following the HBO Latino double header from the Tropicana Hotel and Casino on Saturday night in Las Vegas, I ran into budding lightweight pugilist Lydell Rhodes as I was making my exit.
Rhodes (20-0, 9 KO’s) is as affable guy as you will find in the sport and he recently enjoyed a bump in notoriety following the buzz that came from serving as Manny Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner ahead of his April 12 rematch vs. Tim Bradley.
During his time in camp with Pacquiao, Rhodes developed a strong bond with the Filipino star’s trainer Freddie Roach and revealed to me that he has decided to bring him on as a head trainer.
“It’s always just positive vibes and they’re real good to talk to,” Rhodes revealed, adding that he will also be working with assistant trainer Marvin Somodio.
“But on top of that, being around him, I like their style and like I said before, I think I need to be a little more aggressive and comfortable a little bit more,” Rhodes added.
Rhodes explained that Roach’s demeanor, which initially caught him off guard, is just what he needs at this point in his career.
“He’s a cool dude,” said Rhodes. “He was a little more brash than I thought he would be. He had a little more character. He’s a funny dude. And so is Marvin. They’re real cool people.”
Rhodes still has a property in Las Vegas and will now be spending his camps out of Roach’s famed Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles.
Expect more updates from Rhodes’ camp in the coming weeks.
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com