South African promoter Rodney Berman has brought together a top fight card to conclude the “Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four” tournament at the glittering Salles de Etoile entertainment venue in Monte Carlo on July 13.
The two main bouts have a strong element of East versus West, with Russia’s Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8 KOs) against the US’s Edwin Rodriguez (23-0, 15 KOs) for the Super Four title and unbeaten Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KOs) defending his WBA and IBO light-welterweight titles against France’s former champion, Souleymane M’baye (40-4-1, 22 KOs).
Additionally, Maksym Bursak (26-1-1, 12 KOs) of Ukraine will put his European middleweight title on the line against Prince Arron (23-4-1, 5 KOs) of England, while Dmytro Kucher (21-0, 15 KOs), also of Ukraine, will defend his WBC International Silver cruiserweight belt against Junior Makabu (13-1, 13 KOs) of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“These fights resonate strongly with the European market, but there has been plenty of interest also from America,” explained Berman, CEO of Golden Gloves in South Africa. “The Super Four final will be fought at catchweight, but obviously Rodriguez is a big name at super-middleweight where a lot of exciting things are happening. I’ve no doubt the winner of this fight will be catapulted into a major championship fight, having proved himself in Monte Carlo.”
Berman also predicts Monte Carlo will represent a big opportunity for Allakhverdiev, a top fighter yet to crack big-name international recognition. “If he produces the goods against M’baye, who always comes to fight, the likes of Lucas Matthysse and Mike Alvarado can’t but sit up and take notice. Remember, he’s already beaten Joan Guzman and pulverized former IBO champion Kaizer Mabuza. Allakhverdiev is among the new wave of outstanding fighters emerging from Eastern Europe, among them Grachev and Gennady Golovkin. I think the fights will be sensational.”
Berman said that new middleweight No.1 Golovkin will be attending as a VIP, but also to support his good friend Grachev, with whom he shared a fight camp ahead of his recent title defence. Golovkin, fresh off his outstanding knockout of Matthew Macklin, will also undertake autograph sessions.
The veteran promoter believes that the cruiserweight bout between Kucher and Makabu could be the most explosive on the card. Makabu is on an unbeaten run of 13 stoppages and Kucher has 15 inside-the-distance wins from his 21 fights.
“I’ve really struggled to match Makabu, because so few fighters want to go in with a puncher. But happily Kucher has stepped forward. I’d recommend that fans don’t blink – these guys bring heavy artillery.”
July 4, 2013