The most familiar out-of-town face in Rhode Island won for the fourth time at Twin River Casino Friday as Jersey City, N.J., vet Chris Chatman defeated hometown favorite Vladine Biosse by unanimous decision in the main event of CES Boxing’s “Rhode To Redemption” card.
Chatman (13-5-1) won it on the scorecards, 96-93, 95-94, 97-92, despite a disputed knockdown in the opening round in which it appeared Biosse (15-7-2) stepped on Chatman’s foot, causing the southpaw to inadvertently fall to the canvas.
No matter, Chatman shook it off and outworked “Mr. Providence,” frequently pressing Biosse against the ropes as the aggressor throughout most of the fight. Neither fighter grabbed the momentum for too long, each unloading with flurries and stealing various rounds in the closing minutes to swing the pendulum.
In the end, it was Chatman’s work ethic that made the difference as the diminutive Jersey City vet rebounded from an April 3rd loss to Angel Camacho Jr. to earn his first win since beating Grady Brewer in March of 2014.
In what was undoubtedly the most entertaining, back-and-forth fight of the night – and, perhaps, of the year – unbeaten welterweight Nick DeLomba (8-0, 2 KOs) of Cranston, R.I., survived an early scare, picked himself up off the canvas and scored a thrilling knockout win over Union City, N.J., southpaw Juan Rodriguez (12-3) in the co-feature.
Rodriguez cracked DeLomba early with his trademark left, sending DeLomba crashing to the canvas for just the second time in his pro career. DeLomba made it to his feet, but barely survived the round, holding on for dear life at times as Rodriguez unleashed wide left and right hooks with the intent to finish the fight.
With each passing round, DeLomba got his legs back and began taking control of the fight, reverting to his trademark style of boxing on the outside and working the angles effectively. In the fifth, DeLomba caught Rodriguez with a vicious right, sending Rodriguez tumbling toward the ropes. DeLomba went in for the kill and sent his opponent through the ropes and to the canvas with one last-ditch flurry. Referee Johnny Callas stopped the bout with Rodriguez still on his back at the 1:49 mark, DeLomba’s second consecutive knockout win.
The highly-anticipated rematch between heavyweights Solomon Maye (1-5-1) of New Haven, Conn., and Jean Pierre Augustin (5-0-1) of Lawrence, Mass., wasn’t as competitive on the scorecards with Augustin earning a 39-37, 39-37, 40-36 unanimous decision win, but the bout still packed plenty of action.
Augustin dictated the pace and circled the ring more effectively in their April 3rd bout, which ended in a majority draw. Maye landed some clean blows whenever he had the opportunity to get on the inside and press Augustin against the ropes, but failed to follow through despite having Augustin noticeably wobbling in the fourth round. Augustin paced himself and held on for the win.
Making his CES and Twin River debut, Providence light heavyweight Edwin Espinal (7-0, 5 KOs) made quick work of Hot Springs, Ark., vet Thomas Gifford (2-3-1), dropping Gifford for good with a hard, overhand right at the 2:23 mark of the opening round. The Costa Rican right-hander has now won each of his first two fights in the United States, including a win in Boston in May.
Salem, Mass., lightweight Matt Doherty (3-1) kicked off the undercard with a unanimous decision win over Jacob Solis (1-1) of Lawrence, Mass., who returned to the ring for the first time in three years. Solis lost a point for excessive holding in the third round, which ultimately made the difference on the scorecard.
Two of the judges scored it 38-37 in favor of Doherty, while the third had it 40-35; without the point deduction, the fight would’ve resulted in a majority draw. Regardless, Doherty was the aggressor, dictating the pace of the fight while Solis found himself pressed against the ropes with little room to operate. Also a professional mixed martial arts fighter, Doherty now has three wins in 2015.
New Bedford, Mass., welterweight Scott Sullivan (2-1) got back on track Friday after suffering his first career loss in November, defeated the tough Angel Valdez (0-3) of Providence, 39-36, on all three scorecards. Sullivan’s speed was the difference, as he repeatedly peppered Valdez from the outside and landed effectively to the body, dropping Valdez in the second round. Valdez kept fighting, ultimately stealing a round late in the fight, but the knockdown coupled with Sullivan’s superior output was enough for the New Bedford native to earn the win.
Fighting for the eighth time in 13 months, unbeaten Worcester, Mass., junior middleweight Khiary Gray (8-0, 6 KOs) made quick work of 28-fight vet Antonio Fernandes (5-22-2) of Brockton, Mass., stopping Fernandes at the 2:58 mark of the opening round. Gray came out firing, dropping Fernandes early in the round, and continued to work the body to score another knockdown in the closing seconds. Fernandes tried to climb back to his feet, but referee Joey Lupino mercifully waved it off before the final bell.
Making his professional debut, Marlboro, Mass., junior welterweight Julio Perez (1-0) out-boxed the game Rafael Francis (0-5) of Boston to earn a 40-37, 40-36, 39-37 unanimous decision win.