It’s an epic month for the hardest-working promotional company in combat sports.
“Not only are we thrilled to bring a world-class fighter like Glen Johnson to our home in Providence, we’re excited for the world to catch a view of two our top fighters in Vladine Biosse and Hank Lundy,” CES president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. said. “Most boxing fans already know what ‘Hammerin” Hank is all about. He grew up on ESPN, fighting on the road against some of the best in the world, and now he’ll bring his talents to ShoBox where he belongs.
“This is an equally big fight for Biosse. He’s got a tremendous story. He came to this country not even knowing how to speak English, and now he’s an American citizen looking to shock the world on Feb. 28th. If you haven’t seen him yet, you’re missing the boat. He’s already showcased his talents twice on ESPN with two big wins and now he’s taking it to the next level. This is what we do at CES; we promised our fans we’d bring them bigger and better events in 2014 and this is a great way to start a new year.”
Philadelphia’s Lundy (23-3-1, 11 KOs), ranked among the top 15 in the 140-pound division in two major sanctioning bodies, will face Miami’s Angelo Santana (14-1, 11 KOs) at 135 pounds in the 10-round main event of Don King’s ShoBox card at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland.
The hard-hitting Santana is looking to bounce back from a knockout loss to Bahodir Mamadjonov in April while Lundy is looking to build off a huge win against Ajose Olusegun in July. Lundy took the aforementioned fight against Olusegun on short notice and still won decisively, pitching a shutout on two of three judges’ scorecards in their 10-round ESPN headliner. The win snapped Lundy’s two-fight losing streak and vaulted him back into the conversation among the top-rated fighters in his weight class.
For Biosse (15-2-2, 7 KOs), next Friday will be his toughest test to date as he faces unbeaten middleweight prospect J’Leon Love (16-0, 9 KOs) in the Feb. 28 Mayweather Promotions ShoBox headliner at Turning Stone Casino in upstate New York.
The Cape Verdean southpaw, now fighting out of Providence, hasn’t stepped inside the ring since July when he fought to a controversial draw against fellow Rhode Islander Rich Gingras, but he owns two big wins on ESPN in 2010 and 2011 and has a knack for stepping up on the sport’s biggest stage. In addition to his two nationally-televised wins, Biosse also owns a dominant victory over former world-rated light heavyweight Joey Spina in 2012. A former Divison I college football player, Biosse is now trained by Paul Andrade, the father of reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) light middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade.
Love, a Dearborn Heights, Mich., native, is ranked 20th in the World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight rankings. He challenged for the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight title in May and beat Philadelphia slugger Gabriel Rosado by split decision despite hitting the canvas in the sixth round, but the fight was later overturned when Love tested positive for a banned diuretic. Love rebounded with a knockout win over Lajuan Simon in December.
While Lundy is in Cleveland, the former two-time champ Johnson (53-18-2, 36 KOs) will make his Rhode Island debut, living up to his nickname, “The Road Warrior.” The Jamaican-born light heavyweight will face Pawtucket, R.I., veteran Jaime Velazquez (11-5-2, 6 KOs) in the eight-round main event of CES’ “Home Sweet Home” card at Twin River.
Johnson rose to fame in 2004 when he knocked out Roy Jones Jr. in defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) title and beat Antonio Tarver to earn the Boxing Writers’ Association of America Fighter of the Year award. The 45-year-old slugger is coming off back-to-back wins in 2013, including a unanimous decision win over former world-title challenger Bobby Gunn in December. “Home Sweet Home” also features the return of unbeaten Providence super featherweight prospect Toka Kahn (9-0, 6 KOs), who will be fighting in his hometown for the first time in more than a year.