In a night of epic finishes, Providence’s Shelito Vincent left Twin River Casino with her first championship belt wrapped around her waist. Fighting for a title for the first time in her career, Vincent (9-0) responded with her most impressive performance to date Friday night, dominating tough challenger Angel Gladney (8-8-1) in an 80-71, 79-72, 79-72 unanimous-decision victory to capture the vacant Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) International super bantamweight title in the main event of “The New Era,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports.
“Non-Stop” Gladney lived up to her nickname, trading blows with Vincent throughout the night, but Vincent landed the cleaner shots with more authority, eventually dropping Gladney in the opening seconds of the seventh round with a hard left hook. Gladney, a Columbia, S.C., native, looed sharp early, especially at the end of the opening round when she landed a clean, four-punch combo that stunned Vincent, but Vincent’s relentless pressure was the difference as she eventually wore down her opponent in the later rounds.
In the co-feature, “Mr. Providence” Vladine Biosse (15-2-1) returned to Twin River for the first time in a year with a strong win over Philadelphia super middleweight Latif Mundy (10-6). Working with new trainer Paul Andrade for the first time, Biosse picked up the pace in the second and third rounds, continuously backing Mundy against the ropes. Biosse scored most of his points by landing the power punches, specifically his left hook mixed with a series of uppercuts.
The work with Andrade, including a brief trip to Oakland to train at world champion Andre Ward’s gym, paid off as Biosse rebounded from his loss to Marcus Upshaw in January with an effective, methodical win over the tough Mundy.
Two of the most highly-anticipated undercard bouts lived up to expectations as Rich Gingras (13-3) won a close split decision against Joe Gardner (11-6-1) and star middleweight Thomas Falowo (10-1) impressed with a convincing 59-54, 59-54, 60-53 win over the hard-hitting Tylon Burris (5-1).
Gardner, of Woonsocket, R.I., started strong in his six-round super middleweight showdown as Gingras, the Attleboro, Mass., native, came out wild from the opening round, but Gingras eventually his strength to overpower and, at times, wear out Gardner in the middle rounds. Gingras also mixed in his jab, which peppered Gardner, and began to apply more pressure by backing Gardner into the corner. The result was a 58-56, 56-58, 58-56 win for Gingras, which snapped Gardner’s three-fight win streak.
Facing an unbeaten foe from nearby Hartford, Conn., Falowo turned in what may have been his most impressive performance. The Pawtucket, R.I., native shook off a few strong body blows by Burris and eventually dominated the pace with his typical output, peppering Burris with jabs and landing solid combinations in the later rounds that eventually forced Burris to clinch. With Burris being deducted a point for hitting in the back of the head, Falowo dominated the scorecards, 59-54, 59-54, 60-53, for his fourth consecutive win.
In what might’ve been the most thrilling fight of the night aside from the main event, Cranston, R.I., welterweight Nick DeLomba (1-0) won his professional debut against Portland, Maine’s Jimmy Smith (0-1) in a 59-53, 60-52, 60-52 unanimous decision. The action was much more tense than the scores indicated. Smith pushed the pace early, but DeLomba began landing at will in the middle rounds and eventually battered Smith’s right eye to the point where it swelled late in the fight. Still, Smith battled as the two took turns landing flurries in the center of the ring and exchanged clean hooks in the closing seconds of the sixth and final round to end the bout triumphantly.
Also on the undercard, Cranston welterweight Jon Smith (2-0, 1 KO) earned the first knockout win of his career, stopping Hartford’s Oscar Diaz (0-1) at the 1:24 mark of the opening round. Smith backed Diaz into a corner with a hard left and a follow-up right and finished the fight with a flurry, forcing referee Joey Lupino to stop the fight. Harwich, Mass., super middleweight Paul Gonsalves (5-3) bounced back from a loss in March with a hard-fought win over Roxbury, Mass., veteran Maceo Crowder (2-1), who returned to the ring for the first time in three years. Gonsalves controlled the pace early and won unanimously, 39-37, on all three scorecards.
Hyannis, Mass., heavyweight Jesse Barboza (6-1-1, 3 KOs) stopped New York’s Phil Triantafillo (2-3) at the 1:19 mark of the opening round and welterweight Zack Ramsey (4-0) of Springfield, Mass., outlasted veteran Bryan Abraham (6-17-2) of Schenectady, N.Y., in the toughest fight of his young career to earn a 38-36, 38-36, 37-37 majority decision. Ramsey dropped Abraham with a hard right early in the third round and then rebounded from a flash knockdown in the fourth in which Abraham hit him with a looping right.