Recently retired Rhodes, 36, took Alvarez the distance in a daunting trip to the WBC champion’s backyard in June 2011 and believes that the 23 year-old is the real deal when it comes to his current status in the sport.
Alvarez, who holds a 41-0-1 record, is highly-regarded as the future of the light-middleweight and possibly middleweight divisions for years to come and now hopes to unify the 154lb titles against WBA belt Holder Austin Trout.
Trout, 27, like Alvarez is undefeated, coming into the fight on the back of his greatest career triumph against Puerto Rican great Miguel Angel Cotto and Rhodes is sure the American can make the fight an interesting one for all concerned.
“I really think they are both equal as to who is favourite,” Rhodes told World Boxing News. “In my opinion, they are both at the top of their game and have both beaten great fighters.
“I think Trout’s win over Cotto was a great win. You could say that Cotto is just past his best or has had one hard fight too many, but one thing is any win over Cotto is a good win.”
A win for either and a shot at WBA ‘super’ champion Floyd Mayweather could be in the offing for September if the five-weight world title holder can negotiate Robert Guerrero the same way he has brushed aside his previous 43 opponents. Rhodes gives Alvarez the slight advantage in the race to challenge the pound for pound king and sees problems for ‘Money’ should the two get in on in the fall or beyond.
“I really think if (or when) Alvarez comes through beating Trout, he really does have a good shout against Mayweather,” said Rhodes. “If I was Golden Boy and looking after Alvarez, I would try and get him maybe two more fights as what we forget that Alvarez is still only a baby and has plenty of time.”
On the imminent clash with Trout, Rhodes added: “I see this fight panning out by it being very technical fight in the first four rounds, but then Alvarez will start getting his combination shots to head and body together.
“I think from rounds eight or nine, Alvarez will be landing more power shots and probably win by a unanimous decision or even a late stoppage.”