Shinard Bunch is on the cusp of becoming a legit contender. After staying busy fighting before and during the pandemic, his career has hit a bit of a lull. 

Bunch finally returns to the ring tonight against Marklin Bailey in an eight-round bout at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. 

In his last bout on January 7, Bunch, who resides in Trenton, New Jersey, defeated previously-unbeaten Shyngyskhan Tazhibay of Kazakhstan by decision over eight one-sided rounds. 

The 22-year-old Bunch (18-1-1 1 NC, 15 knockouts) has won his last three fights since fighting to a split-decision draw against Janelson Figueroa Bocachica on July 23. Several boxing insiders thought Bunch did more than enough to win the fight. 

Bunch has been very active before the pandemic began in December 2019, fighting five times in 2020 and eight times last year. He is co-promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz. 

Bailey (7-7, 4 KOs), who resides in Durham, North Carolina, last fought on November 20, defeating Kristopher Harrell by split-decision. The win over Harrell snapped a six-fight losing streak, including losses to Xander Zayas and Vito Mielnicki, Jr. 

In the main event of the Joe Hand Promotions card, heavyweight prospect Sonny Conto (9-0, 7 KOs), who resides in nearby Philadelphia, will square off against Justin Rolfe in a six-round bout.

Conto defeated Mike Marshall by unanimous decision in his last bout on February 24. The 26-year-old, who is promoted by Top Rank and managed by David McWater, had stopped his previous four opponents. 

Rolfe (7-3-1, 5 KOs) stopped Fabian Valdez in his last bout on March 19. The Fairfield, Maine resident has won three of his last four bouts. 

Junior lightweight Carlos Ramos (14-2, 9 KOs), who is originally from Ecuador and now resides in Madrid, Spain, will face Mexico’s Jesus Guzman (8-6, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing