Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super Four
The bill for the "Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super FOur" final, a partnership between South Africa's Golden Gloves and the Monte-Carlo SBM Group, was announced in Monte-Carlo on Tuesday morning.
The tournament takes place at the glittering Salle des Etoiles on the Monte-Carlo beachfront on July 13.
Highly-rated Edwin Rodriguez (23-0, 15 KO's) of the US and Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8 KO's) of Russia will meet in the "Super Four" final for a US $1-million purse, to be split 60/40.
Truly coming of age, the 28-year-old Rodriguez returns after a sensational 10-round unanimous decision over world-ranked contender Ezequiel Maderna on March 30 in the opening round of the "Super Four" tournament.
With recent wins in the United States over other highly regarded contenders, Donovan George, Will Rosinsky and Jason Escalera, Rodriguez, a native of the Dominican Republic, now living in Worcester, Massachusetts, is looking to use the battle against Grachev towards has first world title opportunity.
Although much less experienced as a professional, the 30-year-old Grachev looked very impressive in his 10-round decision win over former world champion Zsolt Erdei in the first round of the "Super Four" tournament.
Prior to the Erdei bout, Grachev had earned a wealth of world-class experience, challenging former world champion Lucian Bute on November 3, 2012. Despite losing a very close 12-round decision, the Russian born, San Diego, California native proved that he belonged against top competition.
Co-headlining this international event will be a world championship fight between WBA and IBO light-welterweight holder Khalid Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KO's) and former champion Suleymane M'Baye (40-4-1, 22 KO's).
Known as "The Hawk", the Russian born Allakhverdiev won the WBA title in his most recent bout, an eight-round technical decision over former world champion Joan Guzman on November 30, 2012 in Sunrise, Florida.
Dropping Guzman in the third round, Allakhverdiev was declared the winner on the scorecards after Guzman injured his knee in the eighth round. The 30-yer-old also holds wins over former world champion Nate Campbell and former world title challenger Kaizer Mabuza.
Known as "The Sensation", M'Baye returns to the ring following his second round knockout of Laszlo Haaz on March 21, 2013 in Budapest, Hungary.
Among the notable names on the former world champion's ledger over his 15-year career are Vivian Harris, Andriy Kotelnik (twice), Gavin Rees, German Ngoudjo and Antonin Decarie.
One the under card, highly-rated European Middleweight champion Max Bursak (26-1-1, 12 KO's) will defend his crown against the UK's Prince Arron (23-4-1, 5 KO's), while big punchers Ilunga "Junior" Makabu (13-1, 13 KO's) and undefeated Dmytro Kucher (21-0, 15 KO's) will fight for Kucher's WBC Silver Cruiserweight belt.
In March, SA-Based Makabu he made his European debut in Monte-Carlo and produced a devastating performance against Tamas Lodi of Hungary.
"I love fighting here," said the native of the DRC. "My mission is to be a world champion."
"The opportunity of staging this mammoth event in Monaco is a great honour, and my deepest thanks and appreciation go to Monte-Carlo SBM and its management team for their support and encouragement," said Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves.
"The Super Four final speaks for itself, with both fighters in the mix for world title honours. It pits two fighters with very different styles, but similar ambitions.
"I'm also excited with the championship fight between Allakheverdiev and Mbaye: the veteran against the young lion. The rest of the card features tremendous talent and I'm looking forward to the second leg of this great event, particularly after the success of the first, in March."