(MAY 16) PROVIDENCE,
R.I.--Tomorrow night, Shelito Vincent, the unbeaten bantamweight
from New London, Conn., will have the opportunity to achieve
something most boxers only dream about when she fights Angel
Gladney for the vacant Women's International Boxing Association
(WIBA) International championship in front of her hometown fans
at Twin River Casino.
As if often the case in evenly-matched title bouts, the outcome
might hinge on who wants it more.
"There's no way this girl is working harder than me," said
Vincent (8-0), who now lives and trains in Providence under the
guidance of Peter Manfredo Sr. "Why wouldn't I work hard for
something I've wanted my whole life?"
Vincent's shot at the title, which is the eight-round main event
of "The New Era," presented by Jimmy Burchfield's Classic
Entertainment & Sports, comes just a year and a half after her
professional debut in 2011, a rapid climb even by female boxing
standards. It's also the first women's title bout to be held in
Rhode Island since Jaime Clampitt faced Belinda Laracuente for
the International Women's Boxing Federation (IWBF) lightweight
title at Twin River in 2008. Vincent's opponent, Gladney (8-7-1,
6 KOs), is a tough veteran from Columbia, S.C., who has fought
for a title before, namely in 2010 when she challenged Kaliesha
West for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) female bantamweight
title. That fight ended in a seventh-round knockout win for
West. Will Gladney's second shot at a title end differently?
"In 2010, it just wasn't my time," said the 25-year-old Gladney.
"I was too young, but it was an experience for me. I learn as I
go. I didn't have much amateur experience, so fighting Kaliesha
West was a real learning experience. Of all the girls she's
fought, she said I was the toughest, so I've kept my head up and
The one edge Gladney has entering Friday's showdown is she has
six knockout wins on her resume, whereas Vincent has yet to
record a knockout, but, as Vincent pointed out, "she has a lot
of losses, too, and I don't have any of those."
"But I respect her a lot," Vincent added. "I know it's going to
be a tough fight. If you want to be the best, you have to start
fighting the best. I'm ready. There's nothing I've wanted more
than this. She better be ready for a fight."
Gladney, who considers herself a counterpuncher with "a little
bit of everything" in her arsenal, credits her trainer, Dominic
Neal, and promoter, Andrew Stokes, for keeping her on track.
Following back-to-back losses at the end of 2012, Gladney kicked
off the new year with a win over Kelan Robey in April, her final
test before she faces Vincent tomorrow night.
"I really wanted to get that
win," Gladney said. "I'm really excited about this opportunity.
I just want to keep fighting and stay active. I love this
Vincent was originally supposed to face Christina Ruiz of Texas,
but Ruiz pulled out of the fight, citing a hand injury. Gladney
accepted the challenge on just two week's notice. The stage has
now been set for Friday night in what will be a major
opportunity for both Vincent and Gladney.
"When I got into boxing, this is what I dreamt about," Vincent
said. "I'm going hard on Friday night."
"Mr. Providence" Vladine Biosse (14-2-1, 7 KOs) will also return
to the ring May 17th in the eight-round super middleweight
co-feature against Philadelphia's Latif Mundy (10-5, 4 KOs).
Tickets for "The New Era" are $41.00, $76.00, and $126.00 (VIP)
and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online
at www.shop.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players
Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location.
Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
The undercard features seven bouts, most of which are regional
showdowns, starting with Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight Thomas
Falowo (9-1, 7 KOs) stepping up to face undefeated power-puncher
Tylon Burris (5-0, 3 KOs) of Hartford, Conn., in a six-round
bout. Super middleweight Rich Gingras (12-3, 8 KOs) of
Attleboro, Mass., a former contestant on The Contender reality
television series, will battle the red-hot Joey Gardner (11-5-1,
1 KO) of Woonsocket, R.I., in a six-round bout.
The always-busy Falowo, who's known for throwing a high volume
of punches from start to finish, will have his hands full with
Burris, who has raised eyebrows in New England following an
impressive knockout win over previously-unbeaten light
heavyweight prospect Kevin Cobbs in November. Falowo has won his
last three bouts, all by knockout, since suffering his first
loss in May of 2012.
The Gingras-Gardner showdown came to fruition after Providence's
Alex Amparo was forced to withdraw from his scheduled rematch
with Gardner due to a rib injury. Gardner, who has won his last
three fights, will instead face Gingras, a former cruiserweight
now looking to make his mark in the super middleweight division.
Also on the undercard, Boston's Maceo Crowder (2-0, 1 KO), the
half-brother of former U.S. Olympian and Providence native
Demetrius Andrade, will return from a three-year absence to face
Harwich, Mass., veteran Paul Gonsalves (4-3, 3 KOs) in a
four-round super middleweight bout; and welterweight Jon Smith
(1-0) of Cranston, R.I., will battle newcomer Oscar Diaz of
Hartford, Conn., in a four-round bout. In a six-round special
attraction, former Cranston amateur standout Nick DeLomba will
make his professional debut against Portland, Maine native Jimmy
Smith (0-0-0); the latter is returning to the ring for the first
time in more than a year after his debut was cut short due to an
accidental head butt. Smith and DeLomba faced one another twice
as amateurs with each fighter winning once.
Hyannis, Mass., heavyweight Jesse Barboza (5-1-1, 3 KOs) will
take on West New York, N.J., challenger Phillip Triantafillo
(2-2, 1 KO) in a four-round bout, and Springfield, Mass.,
welterweight Zack Ramsey (3-0, 3 KOs) will return to face Bryan
Abraham (6-16-2, 6 KOs) of Schenectady, N.Y., in a four-round
bout. All fights and fighters are subject to change.