Floyd Sr.’s protege is Pacquiao’s top sparring partner

A WELL-KNOWN protégé of Floyd Mayweather Sr. will become Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner as the Fighter of the Decade prepares for his eagerly awaited rematch with World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas on April 12.

Boxing writer Chris Robinson broke the news that Lydell Rhodes, who is undefeated with a record of 19-0 with 9 knockouts, will fly to GenSan to serve as a prime sparring partner of the eight-division world champion.

Robinson reported that Rhodes, when not in training, is a comedian.

“But he possesses some serious talent and is one of the quickest prospects in the city (Las Vegas),” said Robinson.

The Manila Standard learned that Rhodes is handled by Mayweather Sr., who is Floyd’s father.

Rhodes indicated he is excited about training with Pacquiao in his hometown of General Santos City.

“It’s an honor to get into the ring with him. I know it will be a huge learning experience. It’s going to be like riding around with the president,” Robinson quoted Rhodes, who described Pacquiao as “one of the best athletes, who has accomplished a lot.”

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told the Standard: “There’s a big buzz on the fight and tickets are going like mad.”

He believes that of all the upcoming pay-per-view fights, Pacquiao-Bradley “is the biggest” and laughed off a possible Floyd Mayweather Jr-Amir Khan fight as “a joke.”

Arum said the recent press tour in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia “really worked out extraordinarily well and the reception at COMCAST was the best with lines of people around the block to get autographs and photos with the two fighters. We are very happy with he tour and it should be a helluva fight.”

He said Freddie Roach, who is right now in Macau handling former two-time Olympian Zou Shiming, will join Pacquiao in his training camp in GenSan on Feb. 23.



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