The opponents change, but the approach remains the same for super middleweight prospect Vladine Biosse. Coming off a major showcase victory on April 1st in front of 42 million homes on ESPN2, Biosse (11-0, 6 KOs) is preparing to face a much tougher test Friday, May 6th, 2011 against Denis Grachev (9-0-1, 5 KOs) in the main event of “Champion Breed,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Fox Theater in Mashantucket, Conn.
Similar to Biosse’s last opponent, Tim Connors, Grachev – a resident of San Diego, Calif., by way of Chaykovsky, Russia – has an extensive kickboxing background that includes a title in the Muay Thai light cruiserweight division of the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF). He also owns a 2-1 record in professional mixed martial arts with one knockout victory and one win via submission. The major difference between Connors and Grachev is Grachev’s boxing resume. The dangerous Russian recently defeated previously-unbeaten Haitian light heavyweight Azea Augustama – a member of the 2008 Olympic boxing team – by majority decision in January.
“As long as he doesn’t kick, throw elbows or put me in any submission holds, we’re good,” Biosse joked.
All kidding aside, the Providence, R.I., native knows Grachev represents a major test as Biosse attempts to win his third fight of the year in as many tries. The business-like mentality Biosse brings into the ring for each fight will be on full display again Friday night as “Mr. Providence” headlines his second show of 2011.
“You know how I do – when I take these fights, I never underestimate who I’m fighting, because if you’re in this business, you’re in it for a purpose,” Biosse said.
“Once we sign up for a fight – anybody, anywhere – I take it very seriously and very carefully. In training for this fight, I take it just as I would if I were training for a world title fight. I go hard in my strength and conditioning so I can go in there and be in the best shape I can. I’m dealing with someone who just beat a Haitian Olympian. He’s a very credible opponent, so he’s not just in it to say he’s in it. On Friday, he’s going to have to deal with me and I’m going to have to deal with him. I’m confident with the training I’ve put in that I’m going to come out victorious.”
Friday will be Biosse’s third bout since Feb. 4 and his second in less than five weeks, but fatigue will not be a factor. Since turning the page on 2010, Biosse has won each of his fights this year by knockout, a stretch that began Feb. 4 against former two-time world champion Santiago Samaniego.
“Staying in action is what anybody in this game would want to do,” Biosse said.
Led by trainer Orlondo Valles, Biosse remains in peak physical condition between each fight, which could be the deciding factor Friday against Grachev. The Russian challenger has dealt with long stretches of inactivity within the past two years; his victory over Augustama was his first fight in 13 months, so as of Friday night he’ll have fought just one bout in the last year and a half.
Biosse has also added new wrinkles to his workout regimen, straying from the typical practice of relying solely on his power and endurance to carry him to victory and instead implementing exercises such as yoga and stretching on a weekly basis.
“That’s now a big part of our workout,” Valles said. “When we prepare for a fight, we set aside time to get our strength and conditioning in, but flexibility is also No. 1. We try to wean ourselves off the strength training and get into the pad-work, sparring and technique.
“Vladine is a strong kid with a lot of power and I’ve wanted to boost that power because he doesn’t even know how strong he is. The strength and conditioning will help him with his power. We’re trying to take these fights more seriously now. We don’t just want decisions. We want to do the job as quickly as possible.”
So far, Biosse has made quick work of his opponents in 2011, a far cry from last year in which he won all four of his bouts by unanimous decision after returning from a broken hand. Again, Biosse maintains, “nothing has changed.” Friday night will be business as usual if “Mr. Providence” has any say in the matter.
“Everything comes down to trusting my hand,” Biosse said. “With the workouts we’ve done on a daily basis, we didn’t always pay attention to the power, but now the fans who watch my fights can see the snaps on my punches and they can see the timing. We’re getting smart as we go along, and we’re getting better.”
New Haven, Conn., super middleweight Elvin Ayala (22-5, 10 KOs) will face George Armenta (13-6, 11 KOs) of Silver Spring, Md., in Friday’s eight-round co-feature.
The undercard of “Champion Breed” stars New Haven lightweight Christian Lao (1-0, 1 KO) facing Barrington Douse of Springfield, Mass., in Douse’s professional debut; and unbeaten middleweight Thomas Falowo (2-0, 2 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., taking on Cincinnati’s Zach Thomas (1-3). New Haven middleweight Rick Dawson (3-0, 1 KO) will take on Odias Dumezil (3-5, 1 KO) of Winter Haven, Fla., who now trains at 401 Boxing in East Providence, R.I., Providence cruiserweight Maurice Cole will make his debut against Shawn Brooks of Thomson, Ga.; and New Bedford, Mass., junior welterweight Johnathan Vazquez (3-0, 3 KOs) will return to the ring for the first time since November in separate four-round bouts.
Tickets for “Champion Breed”, priced at $40, $65 and $105, can be purchased by calling the Foxwoods box office at 800.200.2882, or online at www.foxwoods.com. For more information, visit www.cesboxing.com or www.foxwoods.com. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7:30.