Former University of Rhode Island football player Vladine Biosse continues his remarkable journey from Cape Verde to Providence and back into the ring this weekend on the “Saturday Afternoon Special” show at the Twin River Event center in Lincoln, R.I.
Biosse (3-0, 3 KOs) faces his stiffest test as a pro against Tafari Lawton (1-0) in a 4-round bout. “Vlad is a neighborhood hero,” promoter Jimmy Burchfield said.
“He is a graduate of Hope High School and the University of Rhode Island, where he played football. Vlad is a true gentleman who is doing a great job in the Cape Verdean community. He’s an exciting performer who is working hard to become a top prize fighter.”
The solid “Saturday Afternoon Special” card is a rare matinee show (2 PM/ET start), promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), in association with Twin River, Banner Promotions, Star Boxing and DiBella Entertainment.
Unbeaten prospect Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (11-0, 8 KOs), a 2-time national amateur champion, headlines in an 8-round super middleweight bout against veteran Darnell Boone (16-12-2), while 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius “The Extinguisher” Andrade (7-0, 6 KOs), a former World amateur champion, faces another undefeated prospect, Chris Chatman (4-0, 2 KOs), in the 6-round co-feature.
The 27-year-old Biosse moved to Providence 13 years ago from his native Cape Verde. He was a soccer player who didn’t speak English, which caused some social problems, but eventually got him into playing football.
“Sports are in my blood,” he explained. “Everyone in our family grew up like that from watching my father, an ex-soccer player. When I first moved here I was the odd guy out because I played soccer and ran track. I tried to make friends but the kids in my neighborhood and school teased me because I didn’t play football.
"My senior year at Hope High School I decided to try football. I liked it and went on to play at Dean College (2-time Junior College All-America player) and the University of Rhode Island. I did well because I was always fast. I learned the game as I went along. I do think there are similarities between football and boxing.
"In football, you work as part of a team, train hard and study tapes of your opponents. I may be fighting alone in the ring, but boxing takes a team effort, too, with your cornermen playing a big part. The only big difference is football’s played on a field; boxing is in a ring.”
Biosse, who is now a U.S. citizen and has a URI degree, didn’t start boxing until he moved to Providence. He had a 25-3 amateur record, including four overseas tournaments as a member of the Cape Verdean National Boxing Team.
Vlad captured a silver medal at the African Games and qualified to be a member of the 2008 Cape Verdean Olympic Team, but he didn’t get an opportunity to compete in Beijing due to lack of funding.
“I understand it’s not all about boxing,” Biosse remarked about his rising popularity, especially in the Cape Verdean community. “My college education has helped me realize that boxing is a sport in which you have to perform, but it’s also showbiz and there’s a need to entertain.
"Someday, I want to be world champion, and I’m working hard to reach that goal. I appreciate the chance Jimmy Burchfield and CES is giving me. They’ve shown me a lot of love. We’re family.”
Light welterweight Simeon Dunwell (9-1, 2 KOs) takes on David Marquez (5-6-1, 1 KO) in a 6-round bout. Also fighting on the undercard in 4-round fights are Hartford junior middleweight David Bauza (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Khristian Geraci (4-6-1, 3 KOs), New Haven light welterweight Edwin Soto (1-0, 1 KO) vs. TBA and Providence light welterweight Jesus Caro (4-0, 4 KOs) vs. Damien Butler (0-1). All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Rollback ticket prices for “Saturday Afternoon Special” are $25.00, $35.00, $50.00, $100.00 ($15.00 redeemable free play at Twin River), and limited $150.00 Jimmy’s Platinum Club ($25.00 redeemable free play at Twin River), and are available to purchase by calling CES (401.724.2253/2254), going online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at Twin River’s Players Club booth at Twin River, or any TicketMaster location.
Contact CES (401.724.2253/2254/www.cesboxing.com) or the Twin River Event Center (877.82.RIVER/ www.twinriver.com ) for more information. Doors open at 1 PM/ET, first bout at 2 PM/ET.
Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Saturday Afternoon Special.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by an adult and they must enter through the West entrance.