BIOSSE HOPES TO CARRY ON TRADITION FOR THE CITY HE CALLS HOME WHEN HE FACES MANFREDO JR. MAY 13TH AT
"Being 'Mr. Providence' is about carrying on a legacy," says Biosse, who faces the toughest test of his career
Friday, May 13th, 2016 against
fellow Providence native and Rhode
Island icon Peter Manfredo Jr.
"When you talk about
you're talking about a great city, a fighting city for so many years. Carrying
that torch means so much to me."
The always-ready Biosse (15-7-2, 7 KOs), a physical marvel who stays in shape year-round, replaces Angel Camacho Jr., who sustained a foot injury, in the highly publicized "BATTLE FOR THE CAPITAL," a dream matchup between two well-respected Providence veterans at Twin River Casino, the hub of boxing in the northeast for the past decade.
Biosse moved to Rhode Island at
the age of 13 and has since called Providence
his home. He attended high school at Hope High, starred in soccer and track and
field, and eventually played football at the , just 30 miles
south of University
of Rhode Island Providence.
His tale of triumph, the inspirational story of an inner-city youth who grew up on the "bad side" of Providence, barely spoke English and didn't even start boxing until high school, rocketed him to stardom in the local Cape Verdean community.
He gained his
citizenship shortly after becoming a professional fighter, arguably his most
noteworthy achievement outside of the ring, and proudly bears the
responsibility of being a mentor to inner-city youth who bear a striking resemblance
to the same
teenager who arrived in Cape Verdean Providence
20 years ago unsure of what his future would bring.
"I made it through the tough times. Now it's my responsibility to help others do the same," Biosse said. "I might not get all of them, but if I get one or two of them, I'm happy."
Most New England fight fans associate "Mr. Providence" with the unconventional southpaw they've seen in the ring and on television for the past seven years, the former college football player turned boxer who rose from anonymity to worldwide success in 2010 with a dominant win over Joey McCreedy on ESPN's Friday Night Fights, his network television debut.
Biosse was a public relations dream, a humble, working-class fighter who resonated with boxing fans, a neatly packaged, 6-foot-1 snapshot of the American Dream. Even in defeat, Biosse remained steadfast in his goal to become a world champion and eventually carry the torch in a city replete with blue-collar superstars, among them Manfredo (40-7, 21
The less-publicized side of Biosse, the one fans rarely see, is that of the humanitarian, the local hero who gives selflessly to help lead troubled, unprivileged youth down the right path.
Biosse's talent in the ring eventually brought him to the top of his sport, including a Showtime date with J'Leon Love and an overseas battle against Callum Smith during a hectic, year-long stretch in which he fought outside of
New England four
times, but his heart never left Providence.
In the midst of his most profitable year as a fighter, Biosse and his business partner Brian Johnson opened The Ring of Peace, a boxing gym at the John Hope Settlement House in
where city youth can learn the fundamentals of the sport in a safe,
non-confrontational environment geared toward keeping kids off the streets.
Classes are free of charge.
"A lot of times, boxers are looked at as barbaric or uneducated, so what we do with the kids is we focus on their school work," Biosse said. "We help them with their homework. We have tutors available. Once they finish, then we go into the gym and teach them boxing."
Biosse credits much of his success in life to one of his mentors,
Providence native Peter
Quaweay, a former Central High football standout and defensive back for , who stressed to Biosse the
importance of staying in school and building a future outside of sports. Michigan
"In the past, I didn't care too much about school, or anything," he continued. "I didn't look at my future like I should've. I had an opportunity to go to college and graduate. I look back at those situations and say, 'Man, if I didn't have someone like that I wouldn't have achieved what I did or be the man I am now.'"
The Ring of Peace plans on expanding its role in the community, offering memberships to war veterans and self-defense classes for women.
"When I look back at inner-city kids who grew up like me -- single mother, in the projects, living on the bad side of Providence -- I think, 'Damn, those kids have great potential like I did, but they won't amount to anything if no one reaches out to them to lead them the right way.'
"I feel like it's my responsibility."
Consider it part of being "Mr. Providence." While Manfredo, the 16-year fight vet known affectionately as "The Pride of Providence" in Rhode Island's Italian-American community, shares a similar responsibility as a father, husband and fighter, Biosse has become an icon in his own right among Rhode Island Cape Verdeans, a role he takes seriously.
"Being adopted by the city of
and knowing Providence carries so
much history with my people, so much ancestry with my people coming over since
slavery and through working on the ships, it's a big legacy to be able to carry
that name," Biosse said.
"This is one of the first cities my
people came to, Fox Point,
right here in Cape
Verdean Providence. That
means so much to me. That's why since Day 1 when that nickname was given to me,
I never shied away from it. I feel it fits perfectly because of the history my
people have with my city. That's why I appreciate it."
With Manfredo's own legacy in tow, "THE BATTLE FOR THE CAPITAL" takes on new meaning May 13th, two fighters who are pillars in their respective communities -- and close friends -- battling for state bragging rights.
"Peter was 'The Pride of Providence' long before I came onto the scene and I respect that," Biosse said. "Now it's the top two chefs in the city competing against each other carrying the history of
It makes it a lot more interesting to us, the competitors, and also the
Biosse accepted the challenge against the 47-fight vet Manfredo on short notice with little hesitation. As a competitor who stays in the gym year-round, Biosse's conditioning was never a factor, plus he's had 10 months since his last fight in July to work on some fundamentals.
"I'm so critical of my skills and my development as a fighter," he said. "Having those months off, being able to sit down and grade myself and study myself and my ability to perform, seeing where I was and where I'm at now, some things got better, some things got worse.
"I've really refined myself and my skills and have become a better me."
"Listen, I take nothing away from Peter. He's a veteran and he's been doing this for a long time. He's in great shape and ready to compete with anyone, anywhere, anytime. It's going to be a hell of a competition."
While this is no doubt the biggest test of Biosse's career, the ability to overcome and conquer is an important part of what has made him an iconic figure in the
community. As a fighter, a husband, a father and, perhaps most importantly, a
U.S. Citizen, "Mr. Providence" carries an entire city and legacy on
his back each time he steps into the ring. May 13th could be his most
triumphant moment yet. Cape Verdean
"Growing up in this country, learning everything I know here, I got a better opportunity and a better education," Biosse says. "It means so much to me to be a
citizen. I've given my heart and soul here and now I'm really a part of this
country. I can vote. I can make changes in this country. To be able to share
that American culture with others, that's a beautiful thing."
Limited seated tickets for "THE BATTLE FOR THE CAPITAL" are priced at $46.00, $66.00, $151.00 (VIP) and $201.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.twinriver.com orwww.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club.
Standing room tickets are also available for $46.00 directly through Twin River Casino and can also be purchased online at www.twinriver.com orwww.ticketmaster.com or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change and tickets are non-refundable.
The Manfredo-Biosse headliner at "THE BATTLE FOR THE CAPITAL" is one of nine fights on a stacked card featuring two title bouts in addition to the professional debuts of two accomplished amateurs from
Worcester's Khiary Gray (12-0, 9 KOs) also returns on May 13th and puts his Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) Northeast Junior Middleweight Title on the line against Fort Meyers, Fla., vet Quinton Willis (10-3-2, 5 KOs) in an 8-round bout while unbeaten New Haven, Conn., welterweightJimmy Williams (10-0-1, 5 KOs) faces St. Petersburg, Fla., veteranManny Woods (15-4-1, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Undefeated Springfield, Mass., junior welterweight Zack Ramsey (7-0, 3 KOs) steps back into the ring for the first time since 2014 to face 20-fight vet Issouf Kinda (17-3, 7 KOs) of New York in a six-round bout and regional standouts Nick DeLomba (8-1, 2 KOs) of Cranston, R.I., and the undefeated Freddy Sanchez (7-0, 5 KOs) of Worcester face off in a 6-round bout for the vacant New England Super Featherweight Title.
The May 13th undercard also features a six-round rematch between Stoughton, Mass., super featherweight Travis Demko (4-0, 1 KO) andMohamad Allam (2-1, 1 KO) of Holyoke, Mass. The two faced one another in September with Demko winning by unanimous decision in a 4-round bout.
Also returning to
, unbeaten Twin
River , lightweightJulio Perez (4-0)
Mass. Providence's Cido Hoff (0-0-1)
in a 4-round bout. Worcester's Kendrick
Ball Jr. makes his professional debut in a 4-round super middleweight bout
against Providence's Tunde
Odumosuwhile fellow Worcester
native Jamaine Ortiz debuts in a 4-round super lightweight bout
vet Josh Parker (0-2-1). Skowhegan, Maine