LINCOLN, R.I. (Oct. 7, 2011) – Looking to avenge the first and only loss of his career, Vladine Biosse of Providence, R.I., fought to a majority draw against veteran John Mackey in the main event of Friday’s “Rhode Warriors” boxing show at the Twin River Event Center, presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports.
Biosse was one of three fighters attempting a comeback Friday night on various levels. Thirty-nine-year-old Richard Starnino of Providence, also known as “Bobo The Bull,” fought for the first time in two years, but suffered a knockout loss to Reynaldo Rodriguez of Woonsocket, while Benny “The Boss” Costantino ended a 10-year drought with a unanimous decision win over Odias Dumezil.
On May 6th, Biosse (11-1-1) suffered his first career loss in knockout fashion to Denis Grachev. He entered Friday looking to get back on track, but the crafty Mackey (13-6-3) used superior defense and veteran footwork to limit the damage. While Biosse won on one of the judge’s scorecards by a 77-75 verdict, the remaining judges scored it 76-76 apiece, resulting in a majority draw. Despite his most valiant effort, Biosse couldn’t solve Mackey’s defense.
“The next thing I’ve go to do is work,” Biosse said. “That’s what I do. This is my job, so we’ll go back to work on Monday.”
Fighting for the first time since February of 2009, Starnino (9-6-2) was the aggressor from the opening bell, charging at Rodriguez (6-2-1) and backing him against the ropes early and often.
Through it all, Rodriguez took his time and waited for his moment, carefully picking his spots with effective counterpunches. Early in the fourth, Starnino lunged toward Rodriguez and missed wildly, prompting Rodriguez to land a clean left hook that sent his opponent staggering to the canvas. “Bobo” made it back to his feet, but stumbled on his way to the neutral corner, forcing referee Joey Lupino to stop the fight at the 1:04 mark. Rodriguez, who was 0-2-1 in his previous three fights, won for the first time since 2004.
The second highly-anticipated comeback ended on a much different note as Costantino (7-0, 4 KOs) outworked the stronger, younger Dumezil (3-7) to earn a 39-37, 39-37, 39-37 unanimous decision victory. Dumezil got off to a strong start with a decisive victory in the opening round and although he landed the more damaging shots, Costantino was the more active fighter, throwing combinations to the body and head while Dumezil seemed content with landing one punch and backing away.
Costantino, 40, hadn’t fought since beating Matt Hill by majority decision in November of 2001.
The fight of the night occurred between Providence’s Alex Amparo (2-0, 1 KO) and light heavyweight Nick Lavin (2-2) of Shelton, Conn., who exchanged blows over the course of four bloody rounds, ending with Amparo escaping with a 38-38, 38-37, 39-37 majority decision. Amparo had Lavin on the ropes twice in the second and fourth rounds, but Lavin stood his ground and landed a few damaging shots of his own to stem the tide. The two finished the fight with a bang, trading haymakers over the last minute and a half before the final bell sounded.
The biggest upset came when underrated veteran Bryan Abraham (5-7, 5 KOs) of Schenectady, N.Y., scored a vicious third-round knockout against welterweight Johnathan Vazquez (4-1-1) of New Bedford, Mass. Vazquez entered the bout undefeated, but recently fought to a draw against Agustine Maurus of Lawrence, Mass., in July.
For Abraham, Friday was his third win against an undefeated opponent in his last four tries; he knocked out Dominic DeSanto in April and scored another knockout against previously-unbeaten Scott Burelli in June. Early in the third round, Abraham took advantage of Vazquez’s sloppy defense and landed a hard overhand right that turned the momentum in his favor. Abraham knocked Vazquez to the canvas twice in the third, leaving his opponent dazed, and finished the bout with another series of clean right hooks with five seconds remaining.
Unbeaten middleweight Thomas Falowo (5-0, 4 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., and veteran Borngod Washington (2-9-1) of Queens, N.Y., battled toe-to-toe in a four-round slugfest that ended in a 40-36, 40-36, 40-36 unanimous decision victory for the red-hot Falowo.
As is often the case, Falowo was the aggressor from the opening bell, throwing a high volume of punches through the first two rounds, most of which Washington blocked with his forearms. As Washington’s defense faded, Falowo began to land cleaner, more accurate shots, forcing Washington against the ropes on several occasions. The cagey veteran hung in despite Falowo’s constant pressure, but Falowo never faced any serious danger outside of a few right hands from Washington and cruised to his fifth consecutive win.
Coming off a draw against Vazquez in his previous bout (July 29th in Connecticut), Maurus (2-0-1, 2 KOs) kept his unbeaten record intact with a second-round TKO victory over newcomer Christian Rivera of nearby Gloucester. Maurus took control from the start and earned the stoppage at the 2:34 mark of the second round as Rivera eventually succumbed to the pressure against the ropes.
Making her professional debut in the female bantamweight division, Shelito Vincent (1-0) of Providence, R.I., held off a strong effort by veteran Karen Dulin (2-10) of Mystic, Conn., earning her first career victory by unanimous decision, 40-36, 39-37, 39-37. Dulin’s defense kept her in the fight through the first two rounds, but Vincent remained busy and worked the body consistently before landing a series of power shots down the stretch to secure a hard-earned win.
Nicknamed “The Vermont Bully,” Kevin Cobbs (2-0, 1 KO) of Burlington won a close majority decision, 38-38, 39-37, 39-37 against the durable Steven Chadwick (0-2) of Jacksonville, Fla. The fight stayed close throughout, but Cobbs began to work the body in the third round, utilizing his combinations and landing strong uppercuts to stall Chadwick’s progress. Trained by Libby Medeiros from New Bedford, Mass., Cobbs’ previous fight ended in a knockout win over Lavin.
Also on the undercard, San Diego’s Chris Chatman (10-1, 5 KOs) dominated Rahman Yusubov (11-5) from start to finish before referee Danny Schiavone stopped the bout at the end of the fifth round. For Chatman, it was his first win in Rhode Island in his second try; he lost a close, unanimous decision to former U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade in 2009.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV