Home Boxing News Hometown heroes Biosse, Spina face off at Twin River in epic intrastate...

Hometown heroes Biosse, Spina face off at Twin River in epic intrastate showdown

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (April 26, 2012) – The city Jimmy Burchfield has worked tirelessly to keep on the forefront of the boxing community is up for grabs, and two of Rhode Island’s brightest stars are ready to take the crown.

Vladine Biosse (12-1-1, 6 KOs), dubbed “Mr. Providence” due to his strong following in Rhode Island’s capital city, will defend his New England Super Middleweight Title on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 against Providence’s Joey “K.O. Kid” Spina (26-2-2, 18 KOs) in the eight-round main event of “Up For Grabs,” presented by Classic Entertainment & Sports at the Twin River Event Center.

“This is the biggest local fight to hit the Ocean State in more than a decade, and there’s no place we’d rather be than the beautiful Twin River Event Center,” Burchfield said. “These are the kind of fights the fans want to see, and I credit both fighters for being willing to put their reputations and careers on the line in front of what will undoubtedly be a sold-out crowd.

“The name ‘Up For Grabs’ is fitting, because there’s plenty at stake for both fighters on May 24th – more than just bragging rights or a championship. The sky’s the limit for whoever wins this fight. Both sides are taking a tremendous risk, and I encourage our loyal fans in Rhode Island – and throughout New England – to show their appreciation for what these two ring warriors are putting on the line.”

“Up For Grabs” is the second installment of the popular 2012 Twin River Thursday Night Fight Series, which began March 22nd when Jason “School Boy” Pires edged Eddie Soto in front of a standing-room only crowd at the Event Center.

The showdown between Spina and Biosse on May 24th will exceed all expectations and could challenge Twin River’s long-standing attendance record for professional boxing. Neither Biosse nor Spina ever expected to face one another, but now suddenly find themselves preparing for their greatest challenge with the balance of power in Providence hanging in the balance.

Spina, the more experienced of the two, is as confident as ever despite losing a controversial split decision to former Olympian Jerson Ravelo last month in Atlantic City. The loss to Ravelo was his first fight in 17 months, but Spina has been in the gym working nonstop since January, which he predicts will result in a much sharper performance against Biosse.

“To be honest, he doesn’t impress me that much,” Spina said of Biosse, a former college football player at the University of Rhode Island. “He’s a good kid, and I consider him a friend, but this is business. If he tries to stand in the middle of the ring with me and throw down, I’ll knock him out.

“If he boxes, we might have a long night.”

Coming off a unanimous-decision win over George Armenta on March 22nd, Biosse has finally shook off the rust stemming from his first and only loss to Denis Grachev in May of 2011. He fought to a disputed draw against John Mackey last October, a fight in which he suffered a shoulder injury in the opening round, and bounced back with a much sharper performance against Armenta, including a fourth-round knockdown that put the fight out of reach.

Facing Spina is Biosse’s toughest test to date; other than former light middleweight champion Santiago Samaniego, whom Biosse knocked out in February of 2011, Spina has more wins and knockouts than any of Biosse’s previous opponents.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Joey, but this is just another day at the office for me,” Biosse said. “Joey beating me, it’s not going to happen. I work too hard for this.”

Both fighters are motivated by more than just the opportunity to earn bragging rights.

For Spina, this is a chance to firmly cement his status among Rhode Island’s greatest, most popular fighters, including two-time world title challenger Peter Manfredo Jr. , known affectionately as “The Pride Of Providence,” and, in some cases, Biosse, who became an overnight celebrity in Rhode Island after beating Joey McCreedy two years ago on national television.

“It bothers me that everyone else gets more publicity,” said Spina, who has held both the World Boxing Council United States National Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental super middleweight titles. “It gets under my skin.

“People love to hate me. That’s the bottom line. It motivates me. No disrespect to anybody, but I’ve accomplished a lot – real titles, real recognition. We’ve got ‘The Pride Of Providence’ and ‘Mr. Providence.’ I call myself ‘The King Of Providence.’ Eventually, we’ll find out who’s the real king. A lot of people are saying different things. I’m old, my time’s up – we’ll see.”

Biosse is aiming to silence the critics who’ve written him off in the aftermath of his knockout loss to Grachev last year, a fight that kept him out of the ring for nearly five months before he returned to Twin River in October.

“This shuts a lot of people up,” he said, “and it lets my fans know I’m in this for the longevity. I’m not in this to play around. This solidifies a lot of things.

“A lot of times, you hear people say, ‘Oh, he’s done,’ ‘He’s not what we thought he was,’ or, ‘Since he lost, he hasn’t fought the same.’ I have a lot of doubters. That’s what I live for. As an athlete and a competitor, it motivates me.”

Ultimately, the goal for both fighters is to eventually fight for – and win – a world title. Spina has been on the cusp before, at one point rated among the top light heavyweights in the world before suffering a knockout loss to Manfredo Jr. in 2006.

Three months shy of his 35th birthday, the “K.O. Kid” knows the clock is ticking. This could be his final run at a world title, and he can’t afford any setbacks along the way, regardless of what’s on the line next month against Biosse.

“I want to win the world title, but my goal in boxing at the end of the day is to say I fought for one, win, lose or draw,” Spina said. “Peter has two title shots. Give me enough time to prepare and I think I can beat anyone in the world.

“That last fight [against Ravelo], I had ring rust, but I still think I won the fight. I hit him with the bigger punches. I hurt him. The guy made me think. He moved in and out. No disrespect to Vladine, but he doesn’t have those same skills. This won’t be that kind of fight. Vladine will come in and do what he knows how to do. He’ll try to overwhelm me with his conditioning, and he’ll walk into something.”

Before he can dream of winning a world title, Biosse must first get past the hard-hitting Spina, a victory that could put him on the radar in the super middleweight division.

“In my last fight, I felt as though I showed I’m still dominant, but there were a lot of things I did wrong at the same time,” Biosse said. “That’s what we’re working on now.

“I need to go in there and be me. As much respect as I have for Joey, I don’t think there’s anything special about his game. No tricks. He’s a straightforward fighter. I’ve been watching all of his fights and I’m very aware of how he works. I’m very confident.”

Tickets for “Up For Grabs” 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 “Up For Grabs.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)


{loadposition SQUARE3}