There was shocks and thrills as Monte-Carlo celebrated its return to form as a Mecca for international boxing with the long-anticipated multi-bout show on 30 March.
In front of Prince Albert II, the undefeated WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin was in blazing form in the Sporting Monte Carlo on Saturday night, destroying Nobuhiro Ishida’s ambitions with a clinical third-round knockout.
A straight right hand over the top caught Ishida high and instantly knocked him unconscious, marking a seventh successful title defence for the champion.
Asked who he might fight next, Golovkin was nonplussed: “It doesn’t matter.”
Earlier, unbeaten super-middleweight Edwin Rodriguez ended the unbeaten run of Argentina’s Ezequiel Maderna in a tempestuous 10-rounder to advance to the final of the Million Dollar Super Four.
In the other Super Four semi-final, marginal favourite Denis Grachev inflicted a first ever defeat on former two-time world champion Zsolt Erdei, capturing a split decision (96-94, 96-94, 94-96).
Sergey Rabchenko was all business as he dispatched four-time Italian champion Adriano Nicchi in double-quick time, ending matters via TKO in the third. Ranked No 2 by the WBC, the Belarussian successfully defended his European light-middleweight crown.
Cruiserweight Ilunga Makabu endeared himself to the crowd through his power punching and ability to speak fluent French.
The Democratic Republic of Congo native walked down previously unbeaten Tamas Lodi, putting him down with a left-hook right-hook combination to end it at 1:21 in the third.
In the show opener, junior-welterweight Kiril Relikh scored a first round knockout against Paolo Gassani.