UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Mark Reyes Jr.’s record wasn’t as padded as Janelson Figueroa Bocachica suggested before they fought Wednesday night.
Reyes gave the previously unbeaten Bocachica the most difficult fight of his career, but Bocachica remained unbeaten by winning a 10-round majority decision at Mohegan Sun Arena. CompuBox credited these welterweights for throwing the exact same number of punches and landing almost precisely the same amount of shots.
Judge Don Ackerman still scored seven rounds for Detroit’s Bocachica (97-93), who won six rounds on judge Steve Weisfeld’s card (96-94). Judge Don Trella scored the main event of this “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecast a draw (95-95).
“I felt like I had a unanimous decision,” Bocachica said, “but I just need to go back and watch the tape. I felt like it was an easy victory and I took him to school.”
The rugged Reyes (14-1, 12 KOs) had knocked out 86 percent of his opponents prior to entering the ring against Bocachica (17-0, 11 KOs), who belittled Reyes’ level of opposition. Bocachica quickly learned, though, that the Tampa native can both deliver and take a punch.
The 22-year-old Bocachica willingly traded with Reyes throughout their bout, though, and withstood Reyes’ flushest punches.
By the time their highly competitive contest concluded, Reyes had landed two more punches overall, according to CompuBox’s unofficial stats (158-of-579 to 156-of-579).
“I don’t disagree with the scorecards tonight,” Reyes said. “I obviously could have done more to win, but it was a close fight, nonetheless. I just have to go back to the drawing board and train harder. Obviously, I need to execute things a little bit better during the preparation for my fight. I can’t take anything away from the judges.”
Bocachica deliberately hit Reyes behind his head as Reyes turned around early in the 10th round. Referee Danny Schiavone didn’t take a point from Bocachica in the final round of what appeared to be a very close fight.
Following a competitive eighth round, Reyes drilled Bocachica with a left-right combination in exchange just prior to the halfway point of the ninth round. Bocachica continued to showboat during that ninth round, but he didn’t land many effective punches in those three minutes.
Bocachica and Reyes traded hard shots in the center of the ring 30 seconds into the seventh round. They each landed hard right hands with about a minute to go in the seventh.
Schiavone warned both boxers for dirty tactics just before the halfway point of the sixth round. Bocachica landed a left hand with about a minute remaining in the sixth.
Reyes’ left hook moved Bocachica backward 50 seconds into the fifth round. Reyes’ right hand landed flush with just over 1:10 to go in the fifth.
Bocachica caught Reyes with a right hand 1:15 into the third round. A lunging left hook by Reyes landed with 1:10 to go in the third.
A left-right combination by Reyes landed just as the bell sounded to end the third round.
Reyes landed a hard left hook after an awkward break that began when Reyes bent over as Bocachica attacked him. A left hook by Reyes buzzed Bocachica just before the midway mark of the second round, but he recovered and landed a combination of his own that backed Reyes into the ropes.
Reyes blasted Bocachica with a left hook that Bocachica took well about a minute into their fight. Reyes connected with a short, right hand later in the opening round as Bocachica pressed forward.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.