Discussion of Edwin Rodriguez’s 1st round TKO of Denis Grachev

Denis Grachev vs Edwin Rodriguez

July 18th, 2013, Edwin Rodriguez was in Bristol, Connecticut at the ESPN Studios explaining what actually happened during his fierce battle with Denis Grachev at the Salle des etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco Monaco. Photo: ESPN

Salle des etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco, July 13, 2013

Many of the pre-fight pundits were saying: “Denis Grachev doesn’t have a chance to beat Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (23-0, 15 KOs).” They claimed, “Rodriguez is now the total package – both boxer and big puncher. Grachev’s in-your-face, straight ahead prodding will be his downfall.”

Unfortunately, they were right. When hearing of Grachev’s first round KO loss to Rodriguez, others were more tentative and went through this period of disbelief. This was a shocker for local boxing fans. They had never seen Grachev (13-1-1, 8 KOs) being stopped, not in an MMA cage, a Muay Thai fight or in a Boxing ring. The newspapers in Europe used headlines like “annihilation, destruction” to sensationalize the loss. “Rodriguez needed less than a round to blitz right through Grachev.”

La Bomba’s trainer, Ronnie Shields, knew all about the man his fighter was facing. That’s why he devised the strategy of: “From the outset, I want you (Edwin Rodriguez) to go full bore against this slow starter. Do not allow this guy to get into a rhythm.”

Rodriguez, who hails from Worcester, Massachusetts by way of Moca, Dominican Republic, did as asked. He acted as if that first round was the entire fight. If he didn’t win it, a disaster might occur; like having his young family abducted and carried off to one of those French penal colonies. After setting up his punches with the jab or a left to the midsection, he was ready to deliver his heavy artillery, the clubbing, overhand rights.  

Within the first minute, at 43 seconds of the first round, Grachev had gone down. A short while later, the native of Chaykovsky, Russia visited the canvas a second time. It wasn’t long after, that the Hall of Fame referee, Stanley Christodoulou, was pondering an early stoppage. As soon as he saw the defenseless Grachev reach for that top rope to steady himself, he knew it was time to stop the bout. The final stoppage came at 2:50 of the first round.

In that short period, Rodriguez hit Grachev with 70 power punches and none more devastating than the early lefts to the midsection which began his undoing.

For his performance, Rodriguez received $600,000 and became the first “Monte Carlo Super Four” winner. Grachev’s split of the prize money is $400,000. For Rodriguez, who’s been a regular on HBO Boxing, this was just another step in his quest to get a title shot against the likes of Sakio Bika, Carl Froch or Andre Ward. For Grachev, the guy who gave Lucian Bute fits, stopped Ismayl Sillakh, and ended Zsolt Erdei’s undefeated run, it was time to study some tape and reinvent himself. On Monday, Grachev, who had been training up at Big Bear, Calif. for this fight, returned to his workplace, the City Boxing gym in downtown San Diego, after the long absence. As always his chums gathered around to express their admiration and respect for his efforts.

Weigh-in for Denis Grachev vs Edwin Rodriguez fight in Monaco.

Photo top, Denis Grachev (r) and Edwin Rodriguez (l) face off at their official weigh-in on Friday, July 12, 2013. (below, left) Edwin Rodriguez and ring announcer Michael Buffer pose for a photo, July 12, 2013, in Monaco.

Edwin Rodriguez and his mates

(top) Edwin Rodriguez (2nd from the left) poses for a photo with his coach, Ronnie Shields and teammates from the Plex Performance boxing squad. (below, left) Edwin Rodriguez’s children, Edwin Jr. and twin sister Serena pose for a photo with their dad’s championship belt for their mom, Stephanie Rodriguez.

Denis Grachev

Gennady Golovkin with Carlos Baruch and Denis Grachev

(top, l to r) fighting sports trainer Carlos Baruch, middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and Denis Grachev at their recent training camp up at Big Bear Lake, CA. Photo by Chris Robenson. (below l to r) we first see Grachev bonding with his daughter Matilda on Father’s Day. In the final photo, we see Grachev sits on the apron with his wife and daughter at the City Boxing gym.

Denis Grachev at City Boxing

Grachev has returned to work at the City Boxing Gym showing no sign of the setback, he just chalked it up as a learning experience Photo: J. Wyatt

Comments from the fight fans:

“Rodriguez was rabbit punching the snot out of him (not that I think it really would’ve changed anything)”

“That ref was a f—— joke and the commentator sounded like Iron Sheik on prozac.”

“Grachev got nailed by so many punches behind the head it was ridiculous… Rabbit punches all day.”

“Grachev was too predictable as he kept ducking down, then turning his head to the right. By the time Rodriguez’s punches got there, they had become rabbit punches because of Grachev’s turning away and faulty head movement.”

“Who ever put this together must have a sh.. load of money… it wasn’t accessible to the U.S. market unless it was on PPV (didn’t really check because I wouldn’t have paid) couldn’t even find it online… plus I’ve had bigger, more enthusiastic crowds at my house on a Tuesday with nothing going on.”

We also received news from middleweight Chris Chatman:

Another alum of San Diego’s City Boxing, light middleweight Chris “Last Chapter” Chatman (10-2-1, 5 KOs) checked in. “I have been the chief sparring partner to the champ Yuri Foreman for the past four weeks and chief sparring partner to the undefeated middleweight sensation Shawn Cameron for the three weeks prior to that. During this time I’ve had three fights fall through. I’ve been ready for months now. I’m already on weight. Waiting is the hardest part. Can’t wait to get in the ring and clash with another Titan. All trash talking aside, I’m now set to face Thomas Falowo (10-1-0, 7 KOs) on Saturday, July 27 at the Twin River Casino in Rhode Island. We’re listed as the main event. Of course, we’ll give the crowd a night to remember. If you’re in the area come on up and see us duke it out.” Addendum: In Chris Chatman’s fight with Falowo, Chatman won an 8-round split decision.

Chris Chatman vs Thomas Falowo

On Saturday, July 27th, Chris Chatman will be at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island to face Thomas Falowo. (below, left) We see Chris Chapman in action against Steve Macomber on April 8, 2010, at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. (r) Both Denis Grachev and Chris Chatman lean against the heavy bag at their home away from home City Boxing.

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