Janelson Bocachica was surprised Shinard Bunch wanted to fight him after Bocachica beat Mark Reyes.
Bunch and Reyes are friends who train at the same gym. Bocachica believes revenge is on Bunch’s mind entering their 10-round welterweight fight Friday night, though that’s a mistake Bocachica claims Bunch will regret.
Detroit’s Bocachica (17-0, 11 KOs) and Bunch (15-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC), of Trenton, New Jersey, will meet in the co-feature of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” broadcast from Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Nebraska.
“I feel like Shinard might have a little bit better boxing ability than Mark Reyes, but Mark Reyes is all-around the better fighter,” Bocachica told BoxingScene.com. “I don’t know why he picked me. He seen what I did to his friend, and then he wants a piece of the same? I’m just gonna go do my thing this Friday night, and I’m gonna close down their gym.”
The 22-year-old Bocachica beat Reyes by majority decision in their 10-round “ShoBox” main event February 17 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Bocachica won by scores of 97-93, 96-94 and 95-95 against Tampa’s Reyes (14-1, 12 KOs), but Bocachica feels he made their bout more difficult than necessary.
“I did a little bit too much showboating,” Bocachica said. “I let that get too much to me, as well as him, because I did it to mess with him. But I think I took it a little bit too far, and I don’t think some of the judges liked that. But it’s a good thing because I learned from it. And I feel like I also took away any chance that he had because I put my foot in the ring and I said, ‘This is my ring and we’re gonna fight at my distance. We’re not gonna fight the fight that you wanna do, because if you’re gonna brawl, I’m gonna box. And if you’re gonna box, I’m gonna brawl.’ So, that’s what I did with Mark Reyes.”
Bunch, who’s also 22, has won 13 straight fights since Paul Kroll (8-0, 6 KOs) beat him by unanimous decision in a six-rounder in August 2019 at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Kroll’s hometown.
“The difference is Paul Kroll is like 5-8, if I’m correct,” said Bocachica, who stands 5-feet-10. “So, his reach is nowhere like mine. And if he put a whuppin’ on Shinard Bunch, you know, why can’t I stop him?”
The Bocachica-Bunch bout will be part of a telecast that’ll commemorate the 20th anniversary of the “ShoBox” series, which first aired on Showtime in July 2001.
Cleveland’s Isaiah Steen (15-0, 12 KOs, 1 NC) and Kalvin Henderson (14-0-1, 10 KOs), of Fayetteville, Arkansas, are set to meet in the main event, a 10-round super middleweight match.
Showtime’s three-bout broadcast will begin at 9 p.m. ET with an eight-round featherweight fight in which Martino Jules (10-0, 2 KOs), of Allentown, Pennsylvania, will meet Armenia’s Aram Avagyan (10-0-2, 4 KOs). Avagyan came in three pounds overweight Thursday, but they will proceed with their fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.