Rhodes calls sparring with Pacquiao 'mind-blowing'
Unbeaten American prospect Lydell Rhodes continues to praise Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao after having sparred with the "Pacman" for more than 50 rounds during his training camp.
Rhodes first sparred with Pacquiao in the initial phase of his training camp in General Santos City, and was tasked to imitate unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr., who will defend his WBO welterweight belt against the Filipino on April 12.
Speaking to Fight Hype, Rhodes described the experience as "mind-blowing" and credited Pacquiao with helping him improve as a fighter.
"It was mind-blowing, and it just broadened my horizon. He picked up the intensity when we got to California, and it's been real intense training," said Rhodes.
"We have been doing everything, and I will be in top shape because I have been doing everything that Pacquiao's been doing, so we will both be in top shape," he guaranteed.
Rhodes said he’s sparred more than 50 rounds with the "Pacman," and the Filipino boxer has helped him "get rid of a lot of my flaws."
"Sometimes, I fight in spurts or get lackadaisical, but he made it to where if I relax too much, he's gonna put it on you," he said. "If you have any weaknesses, he's gonna expose it."
"If you don’t stay on your jab or stay moving your head, he's gonna hit you. His offense is great, and he just made me tighten things up," he added. "He's so fast, he just punches between your guard, so all of the little holes in my game, he's made me tighten everything up."
Moreover, Pacquiao helped him improve his mental strength and stamina, said Rhodes.
"You gotta have mental stamina with him, because you might be able to do one round or two rounds well with him, but he just keeps coming on," said the American."He is just so fast and explosive."
"The mindset, every time you spar with him, has to be on point. So that’s the biggest thing I would say, is that my mental stamina increased from sparring with him and staying on top of my game," Rhodes added.
Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, has also been complimentary of Rhodes' work, as he chose to retain the young boxer's services when they shifted training camp to Los Angeles.