Rodriguez: ‘I’ve come too far to lose’
Calling Saturday night’s clash with Denis Grachev “the biggest, most important of my career,” Edwin Rodriguez vowed that he “won’t disappoint my fans,” adding, “I’ve come too far to lose.”
A super middleweight contender, Rodriguez (23-0, 15 knockouts) is facing light heavyweight standout Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8 KOs) at a catchweight of 171.5 pounds in the final of the Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four in Monaco.
As part of a four-man tournament in March, Rodriguez scored a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna. On the same card and on his side of the bracket, Grachev defeated Zsolt Erdei by a split decision.
“I boxed here in March, so there won’t be any surprises,” said Rodriguez, who, in victory over Grachev, could win the lion’s share of a 60/40 split of $1 million as the purse.
“I’ve worked on a few things and I’m ready to go. I love being active and the Grachev fight represents the biggest, most important of my career. I won’t disappoint my fans. I’ve come too far to lose.”
Rodriguez spent time working on his strategy with trainer with Ronnie Shields at The Plex in Houston.
“I just think that we’re going to win. I don’t like to predict anything, I just think that Edwin is the better fighter,” said Shields. “We just have to box him. When Grachev gets close, Edwin’s just got to punch, step around, get back on the outside and keep him on the end of his jab, and he’ll be fine.”
In other bouts on the card, Khabib Allakhverdiev will face Soulemayne M’baye, and middleweights Max Bursak and Prince Arron will meet, as will cruiserweights Dmytro Kucher and Ilunga Makabu.
The event will be broadcast by BeInsport live at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT in the United States, it was announced by Berman on Tuesday. BeInsport, “The International Sports Channel,” can be viewed through numerous American providers, including Direct TV (Channel 620), Dish Network, Comcast and AT & T U-Verse TV. For further details please visit their website at http://www.beinsport.tv/
The tournament is being distributed worldwide by Octapixx Live, and will also be transmitted live on channels over many international territories, including SuperSport in Africa, Space in Latin America, Al Jazeera Sport in the Middle East, beIN Sport France, Russia 2 and BoxNation in the United Kingdom.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]