Early this evening at the elegant Casino de Monte Carlo in beautiful Monaco, Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves, hosted the final press conference and V.I.P meet-and-greet, for Saturday’s much anticipated event in Monaco. The event, promoted in association with Monte Carlo SBM Hotel and Casino, is headlined by red-hot WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (25-0, 22KOs) defending his title against former world champion Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9KOs). The opening round of the Super 4 tournament matches Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15KOs) against Argentinean Olympian Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13KOs) and former two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18KOs) squaring off against Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8KOs). The card will be distributed in the United States and Canada on PPV.
Berman, the premiere promoter in South Africa, kicked off the presser thanking everyone for coming out, and for everyone who was involved in putting this historic event together. “A lot of people have put a lot of hard work into this,” said Berman. “This is going to be a fantastic event on Saturday night, with a card that features an array of talent and fantastic fighters from the top to bottom. There has been a huge worldwide response for this tournament which features “GGG” (Gennady Golovkin). We are just really excited to finally get things underway on Saturday night.”
The middleweight champion Golovkin took to the podium first:
“I am very happy to be here in this beautiful country and a in such great city and I want to thank everyone involved in this event. This is great for the fans and for the sport of boxing. I know Ishida well and I know this is going to be a difficult fight. I am ready to put on a great performance for everyone on Saturday night.
“I want to thank the champion for giving us the opportunity for this fight,” said the challenger, and former champion Ishida. “We know that he (Golovkin) is a great and powerful champion. He is very strong and one of the best fighters pound-for-pound in boxing, but we are here for the upset. We are prepared to do whatever we have to do to take this championship home with us.”
The first fighter of the Super 4 tournament to the podium was undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15KOs). The defending USBA champion, and IBF #3, WBC #3, WBA #5, WBO #12 rated super middleweight Rodriguez first thanked his promoter Lou DiBella and manager Larry Army, as well as the organizers of the event, including a special thanks to Rodney Berman, before giving his take on the tournament.
Below are quotes from all four contestants in the Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super 4:
“I think that this is a great tournament, for not only all of the fighters involved, but for the sport of boxing,” said Rodriguez. “Everyone in this tournament is coming in thinking that they are the favorite, and I know that I have a big task in front of me on Saturday with Maderna. I plan on taking care of business though, not only on Saturday but in the finale in July as well. I know everyone has worked very hard to get to this point, but I have no intentions on letting this opportunity pass me by. This is a monumental event for my career as well as for my family.”
“I respect Edwin as a fighter just like I respect everyone of my opponents that I am up against,” said Maderna. There is no doubt in my mind though I will be taking the victory with me back to Argentina.”
“I came back because I love boxing. This is my life,” said the two division long-time former world champion Erdei. “I want to prove that I am still one of the top fighters in the world and winning this tournament does just that.”
“I know everything there is to know about Zsolt,” said Grachev. “I know he is a tough opponent and it wasn’t a mistake that he was champion for as long as he was. I am here to win though. I am always confident going into my fights. It doesn’t matter who is in front of me, I will always fight hard and always find a way to win.”