On top of the world
Friday, May 25, 2012
Reenergized, refocused Biosse sticks to game plan in dominant win over Spina
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.”
– CES –
Michael Parente, Classic Entertainment & Sports, (401) 263-4990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Ward, Twin River Casino, (401) 475-8352 or email@example.com.