Sparring with Pacquiao 'dream come true' for Rhodes


Posted at Feb 23 2014 03:17 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2014 11:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten boxing prospect Lydell Rhodes is living the dream after being tapped to be one of the sparring partners of Filipino champ Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao leading up to his April 12 showdown against American Timothy Bradley Jr. in Las Vegas.

The 26-year-old Rhodes has been in General Santos City for almost a week now, and is the first of Pacquiao’s sparring partners to arrive.

“It’s a dream come true,” Rhodes said of his experience. “Really, it’s a great opportunity, and any boxer in the world would love to be in my position. It’s a great opportunity.”

Rhodes said he is expected to be a “Bradley clone” in sparring and is up to the challenge.

“They’re teaching me what to do, what not to do – pretty much what Tim Bradley is gonna do… I’m pretty much gonna be Tim Bradley for a few months,” he said with a smile.

“We’re about the same height, the same build, and we fight a little similar,” he explained. “There are things I do that are a little different, but we’re gonna correct that and make me do exactly like Tim Bradley does.”

While he is there primarily to help Pacquiao prepare, Rhodes also expects to gain a lot of knowledge simply by spending time inside the ring with the Filipino icon.

“Getting in the ring with him, I’m gonna learn a lot from him,” he said. “(I will) pick up a lot of things, and it’s gonna help me as a fighter… It’s gonna help me increase my skills a whole bunch.”

Since it was revealed that he will be a sparring partner for Pacquiao, Rhodes has also noticed an uptick in his popularity.

“It’s getting my name out there,” he said. “As far as everyone in the world, they know who I am now. So many people are following me on social media, just for knowing that I’m Manny’s sparring partner. It’s a blessing.”