New York, NY / Monaco / Johannesburg (June 13) – Denis Grachev may be the underdog, but he’s training with the will of a champion ahead of his July 13 fight with Edwin Rodriguez for the Million Dollar Super Four crown in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Grachev (13-1, 8 KOs) is holed up at Abel Sanchez’s High Altitude Training Facility in Big Bear, California, where the stable includes WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who fights in the US later this month.
Grachev earned his place in the final against Rodriguez (23-0, 15 KOs) with a rugged 10-round split-decision defeat of undefeated two-time world champion Zsolt Erdei in Monaco in March.
The man who trades by the name “The Son of Drago” stated, it’s been very inspiring to be up in Big Bear, California with world champions like Gennady Golovkin and Zaurbek Baysangurov. Prior to the Erdei fight I was only here for ten days, however this time I’m up here for six weeks which will put me in the best form ever.”
“We are high in the mountains, eight of us fighters, just boxing and training. It is hard work, very intensive, with jogging in the morning and much training the rest of the day. I wasn’t in my best shape last time, but this will be different.”
Grachev says the fight with Erdei was the hardest of his career. “With his boxing style and experience, it was my most difficult fight. It was hard to find the key to beating him. I think it will be easier with Rodriguez. He is the favorite according to many boxing fans, but they are going to be disappointed. It will probably be his first loss.”
“I’ve had very good sparring, especially Gennady [whose last defense topped the Monte Carlo card]. We are studying Rodriguez’s style and sparring accordingly.”
‘It’s been very inspiring to be up in Big Bear with world champions like Golovkin and Baysangurov and watch how they train and prepare for their world title defenses.”
A former champion kickboxer and mixed martial artist who has fought all over the world, he especially enjoyed the Monte Carlo experience. “It’s a fantastic place and I learned good boxing lessons there. I found out some of my mistakes and I am now working on them. Winning Super Four would mean a lot; it would be a great honor being better than Erdei and Rodriguez.”
The Monte Carlo card includes champion Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KOs) versus Suleyman M’baye (40-4-1, 22 KOs) for the WBA and IBO light-welterweight championship, the WBC Silver cruiserweight fight between title holder Dmytro Kucher (21-0, 15 KOs) and Junior Makabu (13-1, 13 KOs) and a European middleweight title fight between Maksym Bursak (26-1-1, 2 KOs) and Prince Arron (23-4-1, 5 KOs).