Home Boxing News Russian Kickboxing Champ Denis Grachev Shocks Vladine Biosse

Russian Kickboxing Champ Denis Grachev Shocks Vladine Biosse

CES Boxing’s “Champion Breed” at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino’s Fox Theater, on Friday May 6th, was intended to be a showcase of the brightest talent the northeast boxing circuit has to offer. Touting an unblemished professional record of 11-0-0 with 6 KOs, Providence, Rhode Island’s Vladine Biosse aimed to add another victory to his résumé in front of the local fight fans. However, adding a minor twist to the year of the upset, Biosse was upstaged by former kickboxing champion Denis Grachev (10-0-1, 6 KOs). In the co-main event of the evening, former IBF Middleweight title challenger Elvin Ayala (23-5-1, 11 KOs) made his return to the ring against overmatched and outgunned George Armenta (13-7-0, 11 KOs) on a night filled with triumphs and tribulations for local fan favorites.

The main event matched super middleweights Vladine Biosse and Chaykovsky, Russia’s Denis Grachev. Scheduled for eight rounds, the bout was planned as merely a step up in competition for Biosse, one of CES Boxing’s primary cash cows. Fresh off a fifth round TKO against Tim Connors on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights one month prior, New England fight fans had high expectations for the former University of Rhode Island football star.

In the opening frame, Biosse attempted to feel out Grachev with multiple jabs. Midway through the round, Grachev landed his first right straight followed up with a combination landed with Biosse on the ropes. In a relatively quiet round, Grachev appeared to have the early edge.

In round two, the action intensified.  Grachev kept Biosse on ropes, and one minute in Grachev pounded Biosse with left hooks, countered with hooks from Biosse. After swinging off the ropes, Biosse inched closer to Grachev and landed a trio of left straights which backed Grachev to the ropes. To close out the exciting round, each fighter unleashed four punch combinations in the center of the ring.

Down 20-18 on all three judges’ scorecards, Biosse fought round three with an increased level of ferocity, which led to an increased level of sloppiness. Biosse aggressively lunged for Grachev with little success in opening 30 seconds, and was countered by a pair of rights which landed square on Biosse’s jaw. With Biosse in the corner, Grachev teed off, resulting in a left straight counter punch by Biosse. After emerging from the corner, Biosse landed a right hook, and whiffed on a three punch combination. Nearing the end of the round, Biosse got careless in his defense, and Grachev seized the opportunity by landing two shots to the body and one to the head. At the mallet tap to signal the final ten seconds of the round, each fighter released a flurry of punches, and Grachev pushed the margin on the scorecards to 30-27.

The fourth, and ultimately the final round, was a make or break round for Biosse. After lots of feinting in the opening minute, Biosse countered a Grachev hook with a thunderous left hook which backed up Grachev.  Another left hook landed square on the chin of Grachev, but following a ferocious exchange against the ropes, Biosse was dropped with a left 1:10 in. Bleeding from an accidental head butt, Biosse awkwardly retreated to the ropes of spaghetti legs. Grachev stalked forward with a myriad of power shots, but in the midst of his onslaught Grachev was hammered with a left from the fading Biosse. Each man traded strikes in the center of the square circle, and Biosse clinched for dear life. Refusing to tire, Grachev continued to pound Biosse with looping right hands which buckled the knees of Biosse. Another right hand decked Biosse in the corner, and the Providence native dropped to the canvas with fifteen seconds remaining. Upon rising to his feet, Biosse was further rocked with a right, and referee Joey Lupino stopped the bout at 2:56 of round four, a stunning defeat which left the pro-Biosse crowd in shock and awe.

In the co-main, New Haven, Connecticut, middleweight Elvin Ayala showed an improved skill set against George Armenta. In the first round, Ayala literally boxed circles around Armenta, and used the jab to set up combinations. Ayala used the jab to keep good distance, and landed the cleaner shots throughout the duration of the fight.

Round two featured more of the same from Ayala. A pair of right straights landed between the guard of Armenta to open up the round, followed by a pair of left hooks. Each fighter gained confidence, but Ayala was the only combatant able to effectively harness the confidence into good results. A left hand landed upstairs on Armenta, and a counter right hook slammed his sternum. 1:50 into the round, Ayala landed a crisp right hand to the chin which sent Armenta down to the canvas. Ayala unloaded his entire arsenal in an attempt to seal the deal, but Armenta survived the onslaught.

Ayala and Armenta both began the third round relatively inactive. Midway through the round, Ayala landed an uppercut and a hard right hook to the skull, followed by a left to the temple of Armenta.  Armenta began to piece together combinations, but his punches had little mustard behind them and did little to no damage.

Ayala began the fourth round with the intent of finishing Armenta, and he followed through on his goal. A hard right uppercut to the body dropped Armenta fifty seconds into the round, and Armenta valiantly braved the pain and stood up at the count of nine. After evaluating the situation and waiting for the perfect opportunity, Ayala landed a trio of left hooks with one minute remaining, once again staggering Armenta. At the conclusion of the round, George Armenta quit on his stool, giving Ayala the TKO victory at 3:00 of round 4.

While Biosse and Ayala were the most notable names on the card, “Slick” Rick Dawson (4-0-0, 1 KO) is well known because of his famous brother, former IBF and WBC Light Heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. Deemed more talented than his brother Chad by many who followed his amateur career, the twenty nine year old New Haven middleweight got off to a great start, successfully defeating Odias Dumezil (3-6-0, 1 KO).

The pro Dawson crowd cheered a quick left right combo landed by Dawson during the opening seconds of the fight. Furthermore, an ensuing four punch combo landed crisp for Dawson 20 seconds in, and Dumezil was forced to clinch. The pace slowed down considerable towards the end of the round, but not before Dawson could rattle off multiple right hooks at the end of the round.

Winter Haven, Florida’s Dumezil landed a left hook to begin the second round, but a vicious right-left combo by Dawson triggered a wild swap of hooks against the ropes. In the final half of the round, Dumezil threw few punches, giving Dawson the easy 20-18 advantage on the judges’ scorecards.  

Round three started off better for Dumezil, with a nicely placed left hook countering a set of jabs from Dawson. Following the first minute of the round which saw Dumezil earn the early advantage, Dawson landed a hard combo against the ropes which momentarily stunned Dumezil. Dumezil marched forward with a left-right combination, but walked right into a pair of jabs and a hook from Dawson. A right hook to the body which elicited a gasp from the crowd landed on the mark for Dawson at the end of the round.

The fourth and final round saw a continuation of the same trends in the previous three rounds. Dawson continued to hammer Dumezil with hard power shots amid moments of inactivity, and Dawson was in total control. After a brief exchange leading up to the final bell, Dawson had his hand raised in victory, winning by unanimous decision (40-36, 40-37, 39-37).

The bout at the midway point of the card featured up and coming middleweight prospect Thomas Falowo (3-0-0, 3 KOs) against Cincinnati, Ohio’s Zack Thomas (1-4-1, 0 KOs). Falowo, hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, returned to the ring for the first time in three months, after originally being slated for the Breidis Prescott vs. Bayan Jargal undercard at Mohegan Sun on April 22nd but getting scratched at the last minute.

The result of the bout was never in doubt. After a sloppy opening round during which trainer Peter Manfredo Sr. begged Folowo to throw more than one punch at a time, Falowo shook off the cobwebs and began putting combinations together. In the third round, Falowo worked Thomas into a corner and the combatants swapped straights. Increasing his punch output to finish his opponent, Falowo landed several unanswered power shots to the head, prompting referee Joey Lupino to halt the bout at 1:44 of round three.

Earlier in the evening in a heavyweight bout, Macon, Georgia’s Tobias Rice (3-3-0, 2 KOs) snapped his three fight losing streak which spanned eleven months in a minor upset against former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Jevon Langford (6-1-0, 6 KOs).

Langford possessed a massive size over Rice, which he tried, in vain, to use to his advantage. After an uneventful opening frame, Langford and Rice opened the second round with thirty seconds of slugging. Langford swung wildly, chasing Rice around the ring, but Rice came back and landed a hard left hook on Langford. Rice landed a four punch combo to stun and nearly drop Langford, followed up by a left hook Langford never saw coming. However, Langford regained his composure and rode out the end of the round

Round three began with a more cautious pace in which both fighters caught their breath from the exciting second round. After finally establishing the jab, Langford pressed forward but was caught twice by the looping shots of Rice. A hard right caught Langford on the chin halfway through the round, but Langford returned the favor with a lunging straight. With thirty seconds remaining, a massive left hook lands for Rice, sending sweat flying off the brow of Langford into the first row of seating at the Fox Theater. At the conclusion of the round, it appeared Langford would need to mount a dominating charge to take the bout on the scorecards.

After a brief clinch in opening seconds of the fourth and final round, Rice countered with a sweeping right which sent Langford back to the ropes. Langford, desperate to make the momentum swing in his direction, lunged forward but was countered each time by Rice. Both fighters casually swapped blows in the final 30 seconds, and Rice landed a hard left-right combo to finish off the fight. All three judges ruled the bout for Tobias Rice, the winner by unanimous decision (40-36, 39-37, 39-37).

In a welterweight contest, New Bedford, Massachusetts native Jonathan Vazquez (4-0-0, 3 KOs) outpointed Buffalo, New York’s Andrew Jones (0-6-1). Vazquez started slow in a close but inactive opening round, Vazquez initiated the action over the course of the remaining three rounds including a fourth round in which Vazquez sealed the deal, staggering his opponent with a pair of left hooks. Vazquez added his fourth notch to the win column by unanimous decision (40-36, 39-38, 39-37).

Opening up the card with an impressive showing was New Haven welterweight Christian Lao (2-0-0, 1 KO), who dominated Barrington Douse, a fighter from Springfield, Massachusetts, making his pro debut. Lao hurt Douse on multiple occasions, but Douse’s strong chin kept him on his feet until the final bell. By way of picturesque form and piercing combinations, Lao picked up the unanimous decision victory (40-36, 40-36, 40-36).

Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports put on another great fight card for northeast boxing aficionados, but not all the fights were decided in the direction the crowd desired. Fan favorites Elvin Ayala, Rick Dawson, Thomas Falowo, and Christian Lao emerged victorious, but the main event upset of Vladine Biosse proved shocking. On a card titled “Champion Breed”, centered around Biosse and intended to showcase his skills, Russian kickboxing champion Denis Grachev proved that Biosse is not of the same breed as great champions—at least not yet. At the next local event, fans can be assured Biosse will be back, and presumably better than ever to fulfill his post-fight promise: “I will be the world champion!”

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