Seizing the opportunity is not something that comes easy in this world. You may get only a handful of real chances at doing something great in life and if you miss the boat, then too bad. So with that type of attitude, Lydell “Hackman” Rhodes made sure that he took full advantage of each and every one of them when it comes to boxing.
The undefeated lightweight improved to 16-0 with eight knockouts recently and had a moment to reflect on the whirlwind that has been his career in the ring.
“Everything with me has been a crazy story,” he says with a laugh. “I was 20 when I started fighting and took a fight a week after I started at the gym. All together, I was undefeated in my 15 amateur fights.”
But Rhodes, 25, then moved from Oklahoma to St. Louis and boxing took a back seat to mixed martial arts while he trained with Matt Hughes of the UFC. He didn’t box for nearly a full year when he received a call to take a match against Jesse Comer – in two weeks.
“I took the fight (in May of 2011) even though I didn’t have all my gear,” he recalls. “I had to wear my uncle’s shoes that were two sizes too big. Everyone expected my opponent to win.”
Even though he was doing well as a boxer, Rhodes was still going to school and working a full time job with Pepsi Cola. He knew that if he was going to take it to the next level, moving to Las Vegas and finding an experienced trainer were musts. His parents told him that they would fully support him if he decided to go for it.
“So in August of 2011, I moved out to Vegas and was training at a gym. Floyd Mayweather, Sr. happened to be there and I kind of had an audition for him while
he watch me sparring. He liked what he saw and gave me an opportunity.
“I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Under the tutelage of Mayweather, Sr., Rhodes has gone through a rigorous training schedule that peaks right before he has a scheduled fight. The USBA Regional and Oklahoma Lightweight champion’s average day looks like this:
5:00 AM – Wake up, head to Mount Charleston (the highest point in Nevada, approximately 11,000 feet in elevation that has snow caps). Run 4 miles with Mayweather and a few other fighters.
8:00 AM – Head home to rest.
2:00 PM – Off to the gym:
*6-to-8 rounds shadow boxing with and without 2-pound weights
*10-to-15 minutes hitting the mitts with Mayweather
*30 minutes heavy bag
*15-to-20 minutes jump rope
*20 minutes shadow boxing for 6 rounds
*20 minutes technique – 3 rounds of punches with 5-pound weights
*Sparring (on certain days)
5:00 PM – Head back home.
6:00 PM – To the fitness gym:
*30 minutes treadmill
*20 minutes stair stepper
*Leg exercises (on certain days)
Rhodes trains six days a week with less intensity on Saturdays. Even on his ‘day off,’ he will perform some technique and shadow box for 30 minutes on Sundays.
As far as his diet goes, Rhodes will eat three full meals a day consisting of oatmeal, fruit, chicken or fish. He has a few light snacks during the day of nuts or fruit, but refrains from drinking protein shakes.
“Most fighters do use them, but the only supplements that I take are multi-vitamins,” explains Rhodes.
The sport of boxing can take its toll on the fighters later in life, so Mayweather stresses defense when training his men. “The less damage that you take (now), you’ll be able to think and talk better (then),” says Rhodes of what his trainer conveys to him.
Through the relationship with his father, Rhodes also has the luxury of picking Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s brain. “He comes to the gym every so often,” Rhodes says. “We know each other
and he wants to put me on his next fight card in Las Vegas.”
At the rate that Rhodes is going, that seems like a good bet.