Fighters wrap up preparations: Golovkin vs Ishida; Rodriguez vs Maderna, Rabchenko vs Nicchi; Erdei vs Grachev
Monte Carlo – Gennady Golovkin is in peak physical condition ahead of the seventh defence of his WBA and IBO middleweight titles in Monte Carlo on Saturday.
The unbeaten Kazakhstani yesterday went through his paces during a public 45-minute workout at the suitably grand Monte Carlo Casino.
With his short off, he looked lean and ripped as he worked the pads with top trainer Abel Sanchez. “I’m ready to go,” said Golovkin. “I had an eight-week camp and all has gone according to plan.”
He defends against Nobuhiro Ishida, a fighter he isn’t underestimating.
“We’re expecting a hard fight,” said manager Tom Loeffler. “Ishida is tall and has some power, but Gennady is in tremendous shape.”
Earlier, Ishida worked out and looked sharp and relaxed ahead of the biggest fight of his career.
All the fighters, bar Jean Marc Monrose, who arrives today, put on public workouts against the dramatic backdrop of the famous casino. Unbeaten Edwin Rodriguez got a first hand look at Ezequiel Maderna, who he fights in the first round of the Million Dollar Super Four event. Big around the shoulders, the Argentine is a largely unknown quantity, but Rodriguez isn’t taking him lightly given his impressive amateur career.
“We’ve come off probably the best fight camp ever,” said trainer Ronnie Shields. “I couldn’t have asked for more and we’re planning to put on a show come Saturday night.”
There is a buzz around Zsolt Erdei’s participation, not least because he hasn’t fought in two years and no-one has a real idea of how he’ll shape against determined Russian Denis Grachev.
“He has a lot riding on this,” said Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman. “He’s a massive hero in his native Hungary, with many of his fans expected ringside. He’ll be fighting for them as much as himself.”
Sergey Rabchenko also looks in tip-top condition ahead of his European junior-middleweight title fight against Adriano Nicchi of Italy. Training camps in France and the UK have prepared him well and he says he is looking to make a statement against Nicchi.
“I’m number two in the WBC. A title fight could be around the corner, so no slip-ups from me,” he said confidently.
Meanwhile, cruiserweight Junior Makabu charmed the crowd as he addressed them in his native French. Little-known beyond Africa, he intends making a few waves against local hero Monrose.
The weigh-in takes place 6pm local time on Friday.