One of City Boxing’s coaches went missing several weeks ago. Word came that pro-boxer Denis “Drago’s Son” Grachev (13-1, 8 KOs) had gone north to Big Bear, CA, to train at Abel Sanchez’s Summit Gym where a stable of fighters to include WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, were assembled to help him prepare for his next fight against Edwin Rodriguez (23-0-0, 15 KOs) in that July 13th showdown for the 60/40 split of the $1,000,000 in the Million Dollar Super Four tournament in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Grachev earned his place in the finals on March 30, 2013 with a narrow, hair’s breadth, 10-round split-decision victory over the undefeated two-time world champion Zsolt Erdei.
The popular San Diego boxer stated that while he was only in camp for 10 days to prepare for Erdei, this camp will total six weeks which should leave him in “the best condition ever.”
“We are high in the mountains, eight of us, 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. Baruch (Carlos “Baruch” Ferreira) has been in charge of my intense training.”
Over the past seven years, Baruch has become more than just Denis’ lead trainer, he helps his best friend with his diet, conditioning, resistance, pad work, you name it.
Grachev also said the fight with Erdei was the hardest of his career. “With his boxing style and experience, it was my most difficult fight ever. It was hard to find the key to beating him. I think it will be easier with Rodriguez. He’s the favorite according to many boxing fans, but they are going to be surprised. Most likely, it’s going to be his first loss.”
Sparring with Golovkin has added sharpness to his repertoire. He’s also training with Zaurbek Baysangurov, the WBO junior-middleweight champion, and two other Russians.
“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.”
Even though the former champion kickboxer, mixed martial artist, has fought all over the world, he’s especially enjoyed this 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 the Super Four Tournament would mean a lot; it would be a great honor to be considered better than Erdei and Rodriguez.”
The Monte Carlo card also includes Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KOs), the WBA and IBO light-welterweight champion, defending his titles against Souleymane M’baye (40-4-1, 22 KOs); Dmytro Kucher (21-0, 15 KOs) defending his WBC Silver cruiserweight title against Junior Makabu (13-1, 13 KOs) plus a European middleweight title fight between Maksym Bursak (26-1-1, 2 KOs) and Prince Arron (23-4-1, 5 KOs).