Canelo Could Face the (Former) Spice Boy
The "sanctioning" body that "governs" Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's "championship belt" has named its mandatory challenger, appointing Ryan Rhodes of the UK, and word is that could be the fight in line for Alvarez's upcoming June 18 pay-per-view main event.
Sky Sports says that "president" Jose Sulaiman looked first at Alfredo Angulo, but the belief is he's currently "unavailable." Angulo had some visa issues last year which resulted in HBO refusing to air his fights until all of that was settled, which came off more as a punishment for Angulo turning down a $1 million offer to fight Sergio Martinez, with a guarantee that HBO would buy a fight for him after that no matter what happened.
So instead it's Rhodes, the former "Spice Boy" who burst onto the British scene in 1995, winning his first 16 bouts (13 by stoppage) and picking up the British title at 154 pounds. He moved up to middleweight in 1997 to challenge Otis Grant for a major alphabet belt, but lost a 12-round decision in Sheffield. It was the beginning of a rough patch in Rhodes' career, as he would be knocked out in the second round by Jason Matthews in 1999, and stopped in three by Lee Blundell in 2002. Between Grant and Blundell, Rhodes won plenty of fights, none of them significant. He also lost a 2006 decision to Gary Lockett.
But in 2008, Rhodes dropped back down to 154 pounds for an unlikely career rebirth. In his first fight back at junior middle, he knocked out Gary Woolcombe in the ninth round, reclaiming the British title -- 12 years after he first won it. His 2009 war with Jamie Moore netted him the European belt, but since then Rhodes has been a bit quiet, battling some injuries. He beat Luca Messi last May, then returned with an easy fight against Brazilian Rocky Junior (TKO-2) in December.
Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO) is 34 years old now. But this is a fighter who was counted out long ago, only to come back into the relevant boxing picture once again. He can punch, he's a decently slick fighter, and in all candor, he is a big step up from the likes of Matthew Hatton, Jose Miguel Cotto, and shot Carlos Baldomir. This will be by far the toughest fight that Alvarez has taken to date, and one to take seriously. It's also an overdue shot for Rhodes, who has earned this opportunity.
FX's "Lights Out" Canceled
The FX boxing drama "Lights Out," which covered the post-retirement life and eventual comeback of a former heavyweight champ, has been canceled due to low ratings. The show did well critically, scoring a 79 at Metacritic among 25 reviewers, but just didn't take with FX's coveted 18-49 demographic. Personally, I did like the show, but this is about what I expected. I figured it would have a hard time attracting an audience, not because boxing isn't hip, but because it was a slow-burning show without a major pull-in appeal. There was no one scene I could point to where I thought viewers would get hooked. It was a just a good show, that's all. Those get canned all the time. The A.V. Club reported that "Lights Out" drawing an average of 500,000 adults in the 18-49 demographic. FX's average there is 800,000. The writing has been on the wall, now it's official.