Thursday, August 1, 2013

When Math Goes Bad Folks Get Mad at Twin River

When Math Goes Bad, Folks Get Mad at Twin River as Gingras-Biosse Ends in Majority Draw

By Alex Pierpaoli

Last night at Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island, it looked as though Rich Gingras won an eight round majority decision over Vladine Biosse, capturing Biosse’s New England Super Middleweight Title in a bit of an upset. But in less than five minutes, the ring announcer was back at the microphone explaining to the crowd, that was now in the midst of departure, that there had been a scoring error on one of the three official scorecards and the majority win they had just seen was actually meant to be a majority draw. Needless to say, the throng of Rich Gingras supporters, decked out in red t-shirts emblazoned with their fighter’s name, were not at all pleased and several shouting matches broke out between Biosse and Gingras fans still filing out of the arena and continued on the sidewalk outside the venue. The bout had been a close, heated one, and if not for the addition error and the amended decision, it’s likely a draw would have been far more palatable if it hadn’t come as an after-thought which appeared to set the stage for a potential rematch between the two regional favorites.

Vladine Biosse, of Providence, RI, started slow, using his southpaw stance and longer reach to his advantage in the early going. But Rich Gingras, of Attleboro, MA, turned up the heat midway through the second round and kept pressuring throughout, using a chopping left hook to leverage his way in close and swell the eye of Mr. Providence. Gingras, 167lbs, was in exceptional condition and was able to drive the seemingly larger Biosse, 167 ½ lbs, back into the ropes repeatedly. There Biosse would look for counterpunching opportunities and would land sporadically, but the in-close work favored Gingras, and decisively so, in the opinion of this ringside observer.

Through eight rounds it was Biosse who seemed to deflate under Gingras’ pressuring offense, and it was Mr. Providence forcing a lot of the clinches. The crowd enjoyed the scrappy nature of the bout but had Biosse been able to use some distance and box more behind his long, southpaw 1-2, as he had in the first three rounds, it’s likely he could have made things easier for himself.

No matter; it was neither fighter who created the unsavory quality of the finish. When the official scorecards were read there were two in favor of Gingras and a third who saw the fight even. The crowd cheered, the belt changed hands and folks started leaving. But just moments later it was determined that the scorecard of judge Glen Feldman, originally announced as 77-76 in favor of Gingras, should have read 76-76 which meant the bout resulted in a majority draw.

Few were as displeased as Gingras’s mother who shouted at anyone who’d listen from ringside and out into the night. “They stole the title from my son,” she shouted. “This sucks! It sucks!”

It was certainly an unsavory way to end what had been an exciting fight, but mistakes do happen. Perhaps it would have been more palatable had the result been less likely to force a rematch, but considering the enthusiasm with which Gingras-Biosse 1 was received last night a second go-round between the two probably wouldn’t be bad either.

With the draw, Biosse’s record became 15-2-2 (7) and Gingras moved to 13-3-1 (8).

The chief supporting bout was an exciting one between Chris Chatman of Jersey City, NJ, versus Thomas Falowo of Pawtucket, RI, eight rounds, middleweights. Chatman was a man in perpetual motion; bouncing on his feet, darting in-and-out or slipping past or under punches, and he posed an exceptionally difficult target for Falowo in the early rounds. But just as Falowo did in walking down his opponent Tylon Burris back in May, Falowo did the same versus Chatman, connecting with heavier bolts as the rounds wore on.

Falowo finished with big rounds in the seventh and eighth, stunning Chatman on several occasions. But when the decision came the officials all saw it identically at 77-75, in favor of Chris Chatman, and clearly Falowo’s surge in those final frames wasn't enough. The decision was met with a lot of boos but promoter Jimmy Burchfield entered the ring and introduced Chatman to the fans and then gave him the microphone. A very gracious Chatman then explained to the crowd how he felt he had just lost and did not deserve the draw, but more importantly he wanted to apologize for some bad blood between himself and CES fighter, Demetrius Andrade, who was at ringside. Chatman and Andrade fought a six-rounder back in October of twenty-oh-nine at the Lincoln, RI, venue and many felt, especially Team Chatman, that Andrade got the benefit of a hometown decision that night. Chatman wanted to make nice with Rhode Islanders, Burchfield and Andrade while also making it clear he hoped for a rematch with Boo-Boo Andrade as soon as possible.

In victory Chris Chatman improved to 11-2-1(5) while Thomas Falowo dropped to 10-2 (7).

Super middleweight Russell Lamour Jr, of Portland, ME, scored an impressive sixth round TKO over Joe Gardner of Woonsocket, RI. Despite only four previous fights as a pro, Lamour overpowered his more experienced opponent, dropping him three times and causing referee Joey Lupino to halt the action with Gardner under attack at :38 of round number 6. Russell Lamour improved to 5-0 (3) while Joe Gardner dropped to 11-7-1 (1)

Kevin Harrison-Lombardi, of Providence, defeated Maceo Crowder of Boston via four-round unanimous decision. Through three it was Crowder waiting too long for openings while Harrison-Lombardi pressed the action and bulled Crowder around behind chopping shots. The fourth was an all-out scrap where technique went out the window, with Crowder clearly hoping to score a knockout or a knockdown at least. When the scorecards were read they were 39-37, and 40-36, twice, all in favor of KJ Harrison-Lombardi who improved to 2-0; Maceo Crowder fell to 2-2 (1).

Junior middleweight, Joe Wilson Jr., of Hartford, CT, made a successful debut as a pro with a 4 round unanimous decision win over Saul Almeida of Framingham, MA. Almeida mounted a spirited effort but Wilson’s southpaw style and thumping shots to the head and body made sure that the Massachusetts fighter would not be winning his first bout on this night. At the end of 12 minutes of combat the judges all saw it 40-36 in favor of Joe Wilson Jr, now 1-0, while Saul Almeida still looks for his first victory, now at 0-3.

And in the first bout of the evening, female bantamweight Marcia Agripino, of Groton, CT, won her pro debut over Vanessa Greco, of Brooklyn, NY. Agripino overwhelmed Greco from the very first bell with her busy, two-fisted offense and relentless pressure. When Greco landed she did appear to have the heavier hands but power doesn’t help much if you can’t land it. The judges saw it 39-36, and 40-35, twice, all in favor of Marcia Agripino, now 1-0. Vanessa Greco returned to Brooklyn at 1-3-3.

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