By Ron Jackson
Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions, South Africa’s foremost promoter,in conjunction with the Monte Carlo SBM group has officially announced the “Monaco Million Dollar Super Four” tournament which is take place at the Chapiteau de Fontvielle in Monte Carlo, Monaco on March 30. Also on the bill will be the outstanding and undefeated WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin defending his belt against Nobuhiro Ishida and European junior middleweight champion Sergei Rabtchenko defending his title against Adriano Nicchi.
Heading the bill will be the Super Four eliminator with Dominican Republic-born Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs) who fights out of the USA against Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13 KOs) of Argentina at super middleweight, and in the second match-up at light heavyweight Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18 KOs) from Hungary faces American-based Russian Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8 KOs).
In what is possibly a unique first in this type of elimination tournament the fighters who go through to the final will meet in a catchweight bout with a limit of 171.5lbs (77.78kg). The finalist will fight for a 60/40 share of one million dollars in Monaco on July 13.
The 27-year-old Rodriguez who is the USBA super middleweight champion is ranked at number two by the WBC and at number three by the IBF possibly faces a tough one against the unbeaten former 2008 Olympian Maderna, 26, who is the Argentinean super middleweight champion and ranked at number six by the WBO. He comes into the fight as an unknown on the world scene and this will be is first fight outside of Argentina.
In the other semi-final the 38-year-old and vastly experienced Zsolt Erdei a former WBO light heavyweight and WBC cruiserweight champion who has taken part in 12 world title fights must have the edge against the 30 year-old Grachev who has just come of his first loss when he was outpointed by former IBF super middleweight champion Lucien Bute in November last year.
Arguably the number one middleweight in the world 30-year-old Gennady Golovkin 25-0; 22 of Kazakhstan makes the sixth defence of his WBA belt against the rugged 38-year-old Nobuhiro Ishida 24-8-2; 9 from Japan. The IBO belt will also be on the line.
Golovkin who fights out of Stuttgart, Germany won the WBA belt with a third round knockout over Nilson Julio Tapia in December 2010 and has made successful defences against Kassim Ouma, Lajuan Simon, Makoto Fuchigami, Grzrgorz Proksa and Gabriel Rosado. All the wins were inside the distance.
Even though Ishiada has 8 defeats on his record he has never lost inside the distance and it is on the cards that the champion will be extended and have to go the distance.
The exciting and big punching 26-year-old Sergey Rabtchenko 22-0; 18 from Belarus makes the second defence of his European junior middleweight title that he won in a clash for the vacant title against England’s Ryan Rhodes in June last year, when he faces Italian junior middleweight champion 32-year-old Adriano Nicchi 20-3-2; 9 who is unbeaten in his last eight fights.
The Golovkin vs Ishida bout will be promoted in association with K2 Promotions and the Rodriguez v Maderna and Erdei v Grachev fights will be promoted in association with DiBella Entertainment.
International Boxing Hall of famers Brian Mitchell and Stan Christodoulou and former world multiple world champion Ricky Hatton will also be in attendance.
Christodoulou will referee one of the fights and Mitchell will do commentary from ringside.