Belfast Telegraph

Rhodes the prize for birthday boy Neil, says Breen

By David Kelly

European champion Ryan Rhodes will be embarrassed into fighting Neil Sinclair if he wins the Prizefighter light-middleweights event tonight, according to John Breen

Rhodes recently said that Sinclair “didn’t bring anything to the table and let’s see how he goes in Prizefighter” after he turned down the chance to defend against the Irish champion.

Sinclair manager Breen believes he will have to face the Belfast man or lose respect if the 36-year-old claims this evening’s jackpot prize of £32,000 and the Prizefighter trophy.

“Rhodes is running away from Neil at the moment, making excuses why he won’t fight him but if Neil wins Prizefighter then I think he will have run out of excuses,” said Breen.

Belfast man Sinclair is in the second quarter-final at the York Hall Bethnal Green tonight with Welshman Bradley Pryce, a fight that many believed would have been the ideal final.

Breen added: “Pryce looked nervous at the weigh-in. I don’t think he wanted to be fighting Neil first but I was delighted when Neil got Pryce first.

“I’m very confident that he can beat Pryce and go all the way and win the final.

“She’s in a great frame of mind, he’s been relaxed all the way leading up to the Prizefighter and he’s hitting harder than ever.

“It’s a great chance for Neil to showcase himself on Sky and show everyone in Britain why he’s a real, live contender and once he wins it then we want big fights and of course Rhodes would be ideal for Neil and we want Frank Warren to make that fight.

“The only concern we would have for Neil is that he does cut quite easily and bruises but with a bit of luck he won’t be hanging around too long.”

The York Hall has been a happy hunting ground for Sinclair, having won there twice as an amateur as well as a professional and he is confident that can continue tonight.

On Wednesday he had to put his 36th birthday celebrations on hold but believes he can have the perfect party should he come through victorious this evening.

Sinclair added: “I may be 36 now but I feel as fresh as ever, more so than at many times in my career.

“There was no birthday cake or anything, not with the fights coming up but there’ll be plenty of time to celebrate when I win Prizefighter.

“I’m not taking anyone for granted but if I had to make a prediction, I would say three wins and three stoppages.

“That would be just perfect and I know I need to win this to make promoters believe in me.”

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