ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Roiman Villa won on points for the first time in 26 professional fights Friday night, but the knockout artist also established himself as a welterweight worth watching.
Venezuela’s Villa dropped previously unbeaten Janelson Bocachica in the second round and beat him by unanimous decision in an eight-rounder at Bally’s Event Center. Judges Jacklyn Atkins (79-72), Mark Consentino (78-73) and Paul Wallace (79-72) all scored Villa the clear winner of a fight Showtime televised as the opener of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” tripleheader.
The rugged, aggressive Villa improved to 25-1. Detroit’s Bocachica represented a step up in competition for the 29-year-old veteran, who knocked out 24 of his first 25 foes, largely against nondescript opposition in South America.
The 23-year-old Bocachica (17-1-1, 11 KOs) fought for the first time in more than 13 months. He fought to a controversial 10-round split draw with Shinard Bunch (19-1-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC) in his previous fight, a 10-rounder in July 2021.
Villa pressed for the knockout in the eighth and final round, but Bocachica’s toughness enabled him to make it to the final bell. A counter right hand by Villa rocked Bocachica early in the eighth round, but Bocachica remained on his feet.
Bocachica held at times in the eighth round, just enough to limit Villa’s momentum as he tried to score a knockout.
Bocachica’s right hand landed early in the seventh round, but it didn’t hurt Villa. A right hand by Villa snapped back Bocachica’s head in the final minute of the seventh round.
Bocachica caught Villa with a left hook that knocked him off balance early in the sixth round. Bocachica connected with a right to the body later in the sixth.
Dock warned Villa for a low blow in the middle minute of the fifth round, when Villa kept Bocachica on his back foot
Villa’s right hand made Bocachica hold him in Bocachica’s corner early in the fourth round. Dock warned Villa for hitting Bocachica when he called for a break later in the fourth round.
After Villa sent Bocachica to the canvas in the second round, he spent most of the third round battering Bocachica to his head and body. Bocachica showed toughness during that round, but none of his punches kept the aggressive Villa from coming forward.
Bochachica spit out his mouthpiece three times in the second round after he was knocked down by Villa’s right hand early in that round. Dock deducted a point after his mouthpiece hit the canvas for the third time.
Bocachica connected with a left hook and then a right uppercut in the first round that got Villa’s attention. They traded flush right hands later in the opening round, but both boxers took those shots well.
Villa caught Bocachica with a right hand that backed him up toward the end of the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.