RingSide Report

World News, Social Issues, Politics, Entertainment and Sports

Floyd Mayweather Pupil: Lydell “Haskell” Rhodes Plans a Boxing Future

Exclusive Interview by Marc Anthony

“I think of myself as a complete fighter.”– Lydell Rhodes

Lydell “Haskell” Rhodes is an up and coming American Boxer with tremendous hand speed. Raised in Oklahoma in the amateur boxing scene, Lydell made the necessary changes on his road in becoming a world champion: Going to Las Vegas to train with top trainer Floyd Mayweather, SR., who is well known for developing defensive prowess and footwork mastery.

A little trivia, a video made its way onto YouTube where you can see Floyd, SR., lightly sparring with a young man who later decided to sucker punch him. The guy who jumps in and teaches the young kid a lesson in manners is none other than Lydell Rhodes.

He is set to fight on Thursday, December 15th – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Corona Rumble at Remington presented by Monster Energy: SEASON’S BEATINGS AT REMINGTON PARK.

Lydell sat with RSR to discuss his future plans…

MA: Have you competed in MMA?

Yes, I did.

MA: Is that how you got involved with boxing?

No, I have always boxed but I have also wrestled. Everybody was telling me I am so good, because I was good in wrestling…but I gave up wrestling because I didn’t like the sport anymore. But my friends told me to do a couple of fights and it was pretty cool and everything. I liked it, but I am a boxer. If boxing never worked out, I would probably have given it a shot and go back in it. I have a passion for boxing though.

MA: Who was it that you knew from MMA?

Cortez Coleman, he has fought in Strikeforce before. I don’t know if you are familiar with any MMA or cage fighting but he came down here and tried out for the show in Ultimate Fighter, for the next series Ultimate Fighter 15. It looks like he is going to be in the house. He was on all of the websites and he is doing pretty well in MMA.

MA: Vic Darchinyan recently stated he wanted to do MMA next year. What advice would you give him?

If I had to give him some advice, I would say keep the fight standing and take your ground game seriously and stick to your game plan. I didn’t stick to mine because I wanted people to know that I was more than just a striker, I was a good wrestler, my first couple of fights I knocked my guys out. People thought I was just a stand up fighter, so I took this guy down and I got submitted because I wasn’t too serious about my ground game. If I were to give him any advice, it would be keep the fight standing and be serious about the ground game.

MA: How did you come into boxing?

My uncle, he started out as a kickboxer when kickboxing was kind of big in the early 90s. At the end of his career, he started doing regular boxing. As a kid, I was always around it. When I got in high school, I said I will give it a shot. With his son I started doing it. So, I started learning through my cousin. It went from being a hobby to something I really wanted to do and I was always the bad kid, fighting and stuff, so I might as well box.

MA: You last fought Jesse Comer. You fought him twice. Is this some Oklahoma rivalry?

It actually was kind of a rivalry but we were good friends. When you have wars with someone you have a lot of respect for someone. First time we mashed up because, at the time, I was still an amateur and I was still doing my MMA thing when I moved to St Louis. Then I came back home and I was resting and they had a boxing show. Everyone knew that I was boxing so they called me. It was a short notice; they were actually trying to build Jesse up at the time. No one wanted to fight him. They kept dropping out. So, I took the fight in like a week’s notice. I have always been the best as an amateur in Oklahoma and I never heard of him for some reason. He was actually from Kansas but moved to Oklahoma. It was a barn burner, just a straight brawl from beginning to end…just knockout punches. I won by unanimous decision.

The fight was so good everybody wanted us to fight again. We ended being the main event on my last fight, us two. Our two styles, when meshed together, equal a great fight and you will be entertained. It was kind of a rivalry thing.

MA: People talk about how fast Gary Russell, JR., and Nonito Doniare are, but you are damn fast also. Would you say that is your strongest asset?

To me, I think of myself as a complete fighter. I believe if I sit down on my punches my power is just as good as my hand speed. I think I am one of the fastest fighters out there. I think I am with the Bertos, the Gary Russells…in the hand speed department. I think I am all around because my power if you get in the ring with me, any of my opponents will tell you that I have the power too. I would have to say both my power and speed are equal.

MA: Your feelings on people saying you resemble a young Mike Tyson?

Of course Mike Tyson has always inspired me. He is probably my all-time favorite fighter. So, that is a lot of pride to hear that I am being compared to him. I know that there never will be another Mike Tyson. That was my name actually in the amateurs.

Everyone was calling me little Mike Tyson because I have fast hands like him and a lot of power. In the amateurs, I actually fought up in weight but now I am competing down at a lighter weight. I was fighting at 165 and 152 in the amateurs; I was real stocky and built like him with the hand speed and power. Yeah everyone called me little Mike Tyson.

MA: How long have you been working with Floyd SR.?

It’s been about four months now and I can honestly say that working with him has been the best thing to happen in my whole career. That’s the reason I say I am a complete fighter. I go from coming in as an action fighter, always forward…forward…forward. But now, I will always be an entertaining fighter, but he has me going in with angles. I am boxing now. Slipping and punching. The Mayweathers…they drill you defense, making them miss and make them pay. I have added that to my arsenal. I am clicking on all cylinders right now. The best of pretty much of every world because I am naturally an aggressive fighter with the defense now, so that’s why I think I am a complete fighter.

MA: How is the roadwork going in cold Las Vegas?

I never thought the desert was going be this cold. We run in the morning around 6-630 and it’s freezing outside. I feel like back home in Oklahoma or somewhere in the Arctic. We do our roadwork up in the mountains because it’s harder with the higher elevation. It’s great work out here. We run sprints, long distance, short distance, and fast pace. I never have a set pace. If it’s getting too easy, I just pick up the pace no matter how long or short the run is. We are going as hard as we can…100 percent all the time.

MA: Dec 15th upcoming fight against Terrence Harris. What are you looking to do in the ring?

The main thing is to entertain my fans and everyone. Then get the KO. Well first get the “W” of course. I want to be an exciting fighter. I want everyone to get their money’s worth. No one is going to come to watch you if they feel they didn’t get their money’s worth. My thing, I want everyone in the building to not touch their chairs. I want everyone up in the air, arms raised…people telling others to sit down they can’t see… I want everyone like that. I am coming out aggressive but not too aggressive, but I am going to push the pace…going to see if he can handle my punches first off and then if he can handle the power see how he deals with the speed. He is a southpaw, so there are going to be a lot of straight rights and left hooks see how well he takes the punches. I am pretty sure I am coming out with the victory because, me and Floyd have been pushing extra hard. I am going for a KO.

MA: Message to RSR readers?

Want everyone to know I am going to the top and jump on the bandwagon right now. It’s going fast. If you love action packed fighters with heart, skill, speed and power come check me out. I am all of it rolled into one. We are going to take everyone down at 135 when I get up there. Come check me out now and in the future.

Lydell Rhodes
Division: Jr. Welterweight
Professional Record: 5-0-0, 2 KO’s

2011-10-06 Jesse Comer 1-1-0 Oklahoma City, US W UD 6
2011-08-13 Keith Collins 3-11-0 Miami, US W UD 4
2011-07-29 Antony Nelson 7-11-1 Oklahoma City, US W TKO 2
2011-07-09 Ivory Joyner 0-2-0 Oklahoma City, US W KO 1
2011-03-26 Jesse Comer 1-0-0 Oklahoma City, US W UD 4

Leave a Reply