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CES, Twin River team up to launch unique Thursday-night fight series in 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Feb. 29, 2012) – Thursday nights in Rhode Island just got a lot more exciting.

After successfully bringing professional boxing back to the Ocean State in 2011 following an 11-month drought, Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports is proud to announce the launch of its 2012 Thursday Night Fight Series, which begins Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., with “Home Invasion,” the first of four events this year.

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“Home Invasion” features the long-awaited return of New Bedford, Mass., welterweight Jason “School Boy” Pires (22-4-1, 9 KOs), an active member of the New Bedford police force SWAT Team, along with Providence, R.I., super middleweight Vladine Biosse (11-1-1, 6 KOs), who’s in search of his first win since April.

Pires will face fan-favorite Eddie Soto (12-3, 4 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., in the six-round main event while Biosse will take on hard-hitting veteran George Armenta (14-7, 11 KOs) of Silver Spring, Md., in the six-round special attraction.

The series begins March 22nd and continues May 24th, July 19th, and Oct. 18th, and at the end of the year, the media will select – among other awards – the series’ Most Outstanding Fighter, Knockout of the Year, and Most Outstanding Prospect.

“No matter where our travels take us, Rhode Island will always remain our home, so it’s an honor to bring the finest up-and-coming talent in professional boxing back to the beautiful Twin River Event Center for this unique fight series,” Burchfield said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for both our fighters and our loyal fans.”

“I’ve been in the gaming industry for 33 years and I’ve never experienced a more professional boxing program than what Classic Entertainment & Sports produces regularly at Twin River,” added Phil Juliano, Vice President of Marketing at Twin River. “This new attempt at programming on Thursday nights should excite all of us as we get the chance to start the weekend early with a spectacular event presented by a first-class promoter in a first-class facility.”

Pires, 37, is looking to make one last run at championship glory as he begins his second comeback. In 2008, “School Boy” returned to the ring for the first time in five years with a unanimous-decision win over Frank Houghtaling at Twin River. Less than two years later, he challenged Michael Clark for the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) USA light welterweight title; Clark cruised to a unanimous-decision win, ending Pires’ first comeback attempt. The March 22nd bout against Soto will be his first in 22 months.

“It feels great to be back!” Pires said. “The rest has definitely worked wonders. My body has had more time to heal. I’m definitely motivated for this fight. This is a good comeback fight for me, and I’m looking forward to bringing all of my fans back to Rhode Island.”

Coming off a loss and a draw in his last two fights, Biosse will also lean on the support of his fans when he returns to the ring for the first time since October to face Armenta. In his last bout, Biosse pulled his left pectoral muscle in the opening round, which affected his performance in a majority draw against John Mackey.

“I’m really excited about the fact we’re coming back home,” Biosse said. “I like fighting in front of my hometown fans in my home state. Fighting here gives a lot of people who can’t get out to where we’re fighting a chance to come out and support us.

“The last time I fought, it didn’t go as I had planned, but I was thankful for the people that came out. We had a great turnout. It’s good to see that we still have boxing fans in Rhode Island who will come out and show their support.”

“Home Invasion” features seven dynamic undercard bouts, including the return of New Bedford welterweight Johnathan Vazquez (4-1-1, 3 KOs), who’s looking to bounce back from a knockout loss to Bryan Abraham in October, the first of his career. Vazquez will face New Jersey’s Rashard Bogar (3-3-1, 2 KOs) in a four-round bout.

Fan-favorites Alex Amparo (2-0, 1 KO) of Providence and Benny Costantino (7-0, 4 KOs) of West Warwick, R.I., will also return to Twin River following victories in October. Amparo, a middleweight, will face newcomer John Downey in a four-round bout while Costantino, 40, will continue his comeback in a four-round super middleweight bout against Yolexcy Leiva (4-2, 3 KOs) of Nashville, Tenn.; Costantino’s victory over Odias Dumezil in October was his first fight in 10 years.

Unbeaten middleweight prospect Thomas Falowo (5-0, 4 KOs) of Pawtucket will put his perfect record on the line against Ronald Reaves (2-2, 1 KO) of Atlanta, while light welterweight Carlos Hernandez (1-2) of Bridgeport, Conn., will face Robert Brando-Hunt (0-1) of Hyannis, Mass., who is searching for his first professional win. Female welterweight Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (5-1, 1 KO) of Quincy, Mass., ranked No. 13 in the World Boxing Council (WBC), will battle 9th-ranked Fayetteville, N.C., veteran Rachel Clark (6-6-1, 3 KOs) in a four-round bout, and super middleweight Kevin Cobbs (2-0, 1 KO) of Burlington, Vt., will also be on the undercard in a four-round bout.

Tickets for “Home Invasion” are $35.00, $50.00, $75.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Home Invasion.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)

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Michael Parente

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