Vladine Biosse back on the map

LINCOLN, R.I. (May 25, 2012) – Two years ago, Vladine Biosse burst onto the national scene at Twin River Casino, putting on a boxing clinic in a near-flawless win over “Irish” Joey McCreedy on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights,” a program available in more than 90 million homes throughout the country. Thursday night might’ve been his reintroduction..

After a rough, 11-month stretch in which Biosse (13-1-1) suffered his first career loss, dislocated his shoulder in his next fight, and dealt with whispers from critics suggesting he might be fading into obscurity, “Mr. Providence” responded with the most impressive performance of his career Thursday, dominating Providence’s Joey Spina (26-3-2) in a 78-74, 78-74, 79-73 unanimous decision win in front of a sold-out crowd at Twin River.

“Winning this fight puts everybody in their place,” Biosse said. “As much as I say there are a lot of people behind me, there are also a lot of people doubting me – doubting what I can do in this sport – and I tell them, ‘Look, I’ve got great abilities and I’m going to the top.’ Hopefully, we can get back on ESPN, or Showtime, or Pay-Per-View – whatever – and let people know I’m here to stay. I’m here to be a world champion.

“Give me a shot. Give me a fair chance. I don’t want anything given to me. I don’t want anything for free. I don’t want anything candy-coated. All I’m asking for is a fair shot with anything I do in this sport. Every time I get a fair shot, I’m going to take it. That’s what I do.”

The fight headlined Jimmy Burchfield’s “Up For Grabs” card, the second installment of Classic Entertainment & Sports’ 2012 Thursday Night Fight Series at Twin River. Biosse has now fought at that venue 10 times with Thursday’s win over Spina (28-3-2) now serving as the centerpiece of his impressive resume.

Perhaps the best has yet to come for Biosse, but there’s no denying he thrives on the sport’s biggest stage. While the 29-year-old super middleweight already has two wins on ESPN2 under his belt, Thursday might’ve been his most important victory, not only because of the quality of his opponent – Spina is a former Top 10 light heavyweight with 18 knockouts – but because of the turf war that developed between the two Providence-based fighters in the weeks leading up to the event. Arguably the biggest fight in Rhode since Spina faced Providence’s Peter Manfredo Jr., Biosse left no doubt as to whom the better fighter was Thursday night.

After beating veteran George Armenta two months ago in a six-round bout in which he fatigued down the stretch and admitted his comeback was still a work in progress, few knew what to expect from Biosse on Thursday night. Several weeks before the fight, head trainer Orlondo Valles said it would depend on “which Vladine shows up,” and, clearly, it was the same Biosse who dominated McCreedy two years ago while executing the perfect game plan.

“The plan was I wanted him to have the same style and same conditioning as when he fought McCreedy, which was to box him, circle, box him, circle – that’s what he did [Thursday],” Valles said. “We wanted to keep him off the ropes.

“The boxing was perfect, though there were times when he thought he had Joey and he tried to go in there and knock him out, but I kept telling him, ‘No, get back to the game plan and get back to boxing,’ because Joey Spina is dangerous from beginning to end. Even if you think you’ve got him hurt, you’ve got to be careful. That’s the same thing we did against McCreedy. He boxed him and he kept circling. He kept turning and circling. That was the game plan.

“When he was on the outside, I told him to make sure he watches and knows where he’s at so that every time Joey tried to hit him he had to take a step to hit him first. This way you always see his punch coming. That’s what it was, and that’s how he was able to duck under some of those punches. He listened pretty well. He stuck to the game plan, and that’s why he won.”

Biosse also sought the tutelage of former New Bedford, Mass., world-title challenge Ray Oliveira, who worked Biosse’s corner Thursday and helped provide an additional perspective during training camp. Oliveira scored 44 wins during his career and was a two-time North American Boxing Federation (NABF) light welterweight champion.

“I picked my team carefully,” Biosse said. “I wanted to go back to the drawing board. We teamed with ‘Sucra’ Ray, one of the best in the world during his time, and it was one of the best things we did. Along with Orlondo’s expertise and his knowledge of the game, and adding Ray’s knowledge and expertise, the way the two of them worked together was beautiful.

“From the first day I worked with Ray, I told Orlondo, ‘Damn, the two of you work so well together!’ It was crazy the way I connected with both of them at the same time.”

Biosse became an overnight celebrity in Rhode Island following his first win on ESPN2 with his background as a former University of Rhode Island football player from Cape Verde celebrated throughout the state. After beating Spina convincingly Thursday night, “Mr. Providence” is back in the picture as a legitimate contender in the super middleweight division. No one knows for sure what’s next, but if it’s another high-profile fight on boxing’s biggest stage, expect nothing less than what you saw Thursday night.

“Whenever I’m well-prepared, I’m the best,” Biosse said. “I’m my only enemy.”

Biosse dominates Spina

Facing the toughest test of his career, Biosse (13-1-1) fought what might’ve been his best fight, out-slugging and out-working veteran Joey Spina (26-3-2) in a 78-74, 78-74, 79-73 unanimous decision win Thursday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Twin River Casino to retain his New England super middleweight title.

Nicknamed “Mr. Providence,” Biosse won the highly-anticipated intrastate showdown by landing the cleaner, harder punches and beating the “K.O. Kid” at his own game. Spina’s power – he entered the fight with 18 knockouts in 26 victories – was supposed to be the decided factor, but it was Biosse, arguably the more athletic of the two, who looked every bit like the knockout artist.

Biosse had gone 1-1-1 in his previous three bouts, including a knockout loss to Denis Grachev last May and a draw against John Mackey in October, but he looked as sharp as ever Thursday with a performance reminiscent of his unanimous-decision win over Joey McCreedy on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” in July of 2010.

The former University of Rhode Island football star has quietly carved a niche as an elite, primetime performer; he’s 2-0 in nationally-televised bouts – both on ESPN – and now owns an impressive win over one of Providence’s most heralded fighters. For Spina, Thursday was his second consecutive loss, beginning with his split-decision loss to Jerson Ravelo in March in Atlantic City.

The biggest upset of the night occurred when previously-unbeaten middleweight Thomas Falowo (6-1) suffered the first loss of his career to Cedar Hill, Tex., Samuel Clarkson (5-0) by split decision, 7-56, 55-58, 57-56 despite the fact Falowo scored a knockdown in the opening round. Two of the three judges – Eddie Scungio and Glen Feldman – gave Clarkson four of the final five rounds in what was a hotly-contested fight from start to finish. Both fighters threw a high volume of punches throughout the fight, but the difference was Clarkson’s activity in the closing seconds of the later rounds, particularly in the fourth when he wobbled Falowo with a hard right hand, perhaps doing enough damage to steal the round.

The four-round special attraction featured veteran super middleweights Paul Gonsalves (4-2) of Harwich, Mass., and Providence’s Richard “Bobo The Bull” Starnino (9-8-2), with Gonsalves earning a 40-37, 39-37, 39-37 unanimous decision despite each fighter hitting the canvas in the third round.

Former reality television star Rich Gingras (11-3) of “The Contender” failed to get past the second round against Oklahoma City veteran Terrance Smith Jr. (8-13-2) in his CES debut, suffering a nasty cut above his left eye that forced the ringside physician to stop the fight between rounds. The Attleboro, Mass., native lost for the first time since 2009.

Former three-time Golden Gloves champion Zack Ramsey (1-0, 1 KO) of Springfield, Mass., dazzled the crowd in his pro debut with a third-round knockout win over Providence’s Alan Beeman (0-2). Mixing style with substance, Ramsey peppered Beeman over the first two rounds with an array of left hooks and quick, right jabs, dropping Beeman midway through the second. Ramsey finished his opponent for good just 37 seconds into the third round courtesy of two overhand rights that sent Beeman tumbling to the canvas.

Also on the undercard, Burlington, Vt., super middleweight Kevin Cobbs (4-0) kept his perfect record intact with a hard-fought, 39-37, 39-37, 39-37 unanimous-decision win over Cleburne, Tex., native Kentrell Claiborne (2-6) while Rincon, Puerto Rico native Julio Garcia (5-3), who trains in Boston with former world heavyweight champion John Ruiz, battered Joe Gardner (8-5) of Woonsocket, R.I., 40-34, 39-35, 39-35, dropping Gardner in both the third and fourth rounds. Fan-favorite Alex Amparo (4-0) of Providence kept his perfect record intact despite a game effort from Cranston, R.I., super middleweight Luis Felix, who agreed to the fight on Wednesday. Amparo won by unanimous decision, 40-36, 40-36, 39-37.

Fighting for the second time in two months, Providence female bantamweight Shelito Vincent (3-0) pieced together another dominant performance, defeating Fort Myers, Fla., native Carmen Cruz (0-1), 40-36, 40-36, 40-36, in Cruz’s pro debut. Vincent came within seconds of her first career knockout, pressuring Cruz against the ropes before the final bell sounded. Medford, Oreg., native Mike Wilson (6-0) won his New England debut, narrowly beating Atlanta’s Joseph Rabotte (11-21-1) by majority decision, 40-36, 39-37, 38-38.

Article posted on 25.05.2012

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