February 1, 2013
Africa’s promotional giant Golden Gloves has partnered with the Monte-Carlo SBM Group to announce the “Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super Four” to take place March 30, 2013 in Monaco. The elimination event features 30 year-old Denis “The Pirate” Grachev (12-1-1, 8 KOs) of San Diego, CA going up against 38 year-old Zsolt “Firebird” Erdei (33-0, 18 KOs) of Fót, Hungary plus 26 year-old Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13 KOs) of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina will be going up against 27 year-old Edwin Rodriguez (22-0-0, 15 KOs) from Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Finals of this Super Four Matchup will take place on July 13 in Monaco and will be the boxing arm of the Nelson Mandela 95th Birthday Celebration which will serve to raise public awareness and interaction with Mandela’s initiative to encourage public funding of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, a project to build state-of-the-art research and care facility for children throughout Africa. The two Super Four winners will fight for a 60/40 share of one million dollars on July 13th in Monaco.
Co-headlining the triple-header on March 30 is one of the biggest stars in the boxing world, undefeated WBA middleweight champion, 30 year-old Gennady “GGG” Golovkin of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany by way of Karaganda, Kazakhstan (25-0-0, 22 KOs) fresh off his sensational seventh-round destruction of Gabriel Rosado at Madison Square Garden.
He will defend his title against the dangerous, 37 year-old Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9 KOs) of Osaka, Osaka, Japan. Ishida has lost three of his last five bouts, unanimous decisions to both Dmitry Pirog and Paul Williams plus a split decision loss to Rigoberto Alvarez.
“I’m excited about fighting in Monaco,” said Golovkin. “It’s a great location and I always want to keep in contact with my European fans. Ishida has proven he’s a very dangerous opponent with his KO victory over James Kirkland (in April 2011) and I am up for the challenge.”
After his two great KO performances in the U.S. on HBO, Golovkin’s recognition as the most feared middleweight has grown. He’s truly the type of fighter that will fight without hesitation, anywhere in the world.
The European junior-middleweight title bout featuring 26 year-old Sergei Rabchenko (22-0-016 KOs) of Minsk, Belarus and 32 year-old Adriano Nicchi (20-3-2, 9 KOs) of Arezzo, Toscana, Italy will also be featured.
The tournament will be held at the Chapiteau de Fontvieille with several parallel events taking place at the elegant and historic Casino de Monte-Carlo.
Rodriguez, the USBA champion, is ranked #2 by the WBC, #3 by the IBF, and #7 by the WBA. Having grown up fighting on such networks as ESPN and Showtime, his last two fights were featured on HBO. In March of last year, he won a 10-round unanimous decision over fellow contender Don George, and followed with a devastating eighth-round TKO of previously undefeated Jason Escalera in September.
While Rodriguez has been in the national spotlight for some time, the 2008 Argentinean Olympian Maderna, ranked #6 by the WBO and #13 by the IBF, sees the tournament as his coming-out party.
“I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to prove myself on the international level,” said Maderna. “This is my chance to show I belong amongst the elite fighters in the world, and I promise I will deliver.”
A former two-division world champion, both at light heavyweight and cruiserweight, Erdei won the WBO light heavyweight title in 2004 and defended it 11 times before moving up in weight and winning a 12-round decision over Giacobbe Fragomeni for the WBC cruiserweight title on November 21, 2009. After defeating Fragomeni, he took time off and even contemplated retirement.
Erdei boasts an incredible amateur record, having won 212 amateur bouts and a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He returned to the ring in late 2010, under the new promotional banner of DiBella Entertainment with hopes of becoming a star in the U. S. He quickly won two bouts, including a sixth-round TKO over former super-middleweight champion Byron Mitchell, positioning himself for a shot at reclaiming his light-heavyweight crown. He was scheduled to take on current, undefeated, IBF light heavyweight champ Tavoris Cloud in December 2011, but the bout was cancelled.
Rated as the number six light-heavyweight in the WBC rankings, Russian native Denis Grachev of the City Boxing Gym in San Diego, CA was a two-time world kick-boxing champion before becoming a pro boxer in 2007. He had his coming-out party on April 27, 2012, when he took on the undefeated and highly regarded 17-0, top 10 light-heavyweight Ismayl Sillakh on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Grachev, who entered the contest as an 11-1 underdog, stopped him in the eighth round of their scheduled 10-rounder. With the win, Grachev won the NABF title.
On November 3, 2012, Grachev faced former IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute, in Bute’s hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at the Bell Centre. Despite Grachev being the aggressor and the busier of the two, Bute won an unanimous decision. With memories of that loss still fresh, Grachev believes this tournament is the perfect way to get himself back into the world title picture.
Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco is one of the most exclusive vacation destinations in the world and attracts millions of visitors each year. Casino de Monte-Carlo is the premiere casino destination in Europe and continues to attract the most wealthy gamblers and most well-known celebrities.
The event will be broadcast around the world to include countries across Western Europe, the U.S., Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and 50 nations throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including adjacent islands.