Friday, June 23 marked the 20th anniversary of ShoBox, the offshoot of Showtime Boxing with the mission statement of showing off prospects and young talent. Isaiah Steen and Kalvin Henderson headlined the 3-fight card which also saw a welterweight (147 lbs) bout between Janelson Figueroa Bocachica and Shinard Burch as well as a featherweight (126 lbs) between Martino Jules and Aram Avagyan.
The Main Event
The main event pitted 2 undefeated super-middleweight (168 lbs) prospects against each other. Steen (16-0, 12 KOs) handed Henderson (14-1-1, 10 KOs) his first loss by way of a 10-round unanimous decision. The fight was even for the first 2 rounds and it caught heat in the 3rd where both men traded bombs that could have ended the fight early. From round 4 on, Steen elected to use his superior footwork and box, leading Henderson around the ring.
Henderson had difficulty cutting down the distance and cutting off the ring, and he looked frustrated and confused at several points. Steen won a well-deserved decision and remains undefeated.
Both guys tried hard, both guys showed power and skill, but both guys have much work to do before moving to better competition. With a steady increase in the level of competition and honing skills in the gym, it is possible that we will see either fighter in a high-profile fight in the coming years.
Bunch and Bocachica Draw
In the co-main event, Shinard Bunch (15-1-1, 13 KOs) and Janelson Figueroa Bocachica (17-0-1, 11 KOs) fought to a 10-round draw in a fight that Bunch appeared to win. Bunch appeared to get the better of Bocachica, outboxing and out punching his rival. Bocachica looked exhausted in the final rounds as Bunch came on strong to almost get the stoppage victory late.
The judges scored it a split draw, 97-93 for Bunch, 95-95, and 96-94 for Bocachica. Regardless, the men went the distance and proved they have what it takes to move to the next level. Bunch cannot be happy about the decision, but the way he fought will get him another good fight soon, and he could right the wrongs he feels he suffered tonight.
Wide Decision for Jules
To open the card, Martino Jules (11-0, 2 KOs) won a lop-sided decision over Aram Avagyan (10-1-2, 4 KOs) over 8 hard-fought rounds. The fight appeared to be close as both men found success implementing their respective game plans.
Jules elected to box from the outside, using a snappy jab to pile up points while Avagyan decided to push the pace, throwing big hooks on the inside. The men appeared to trade rounds as they traded punches, and the fight seemed close going into the 8th.
Near the end of the 8th, Avagyan lunged at Jules without throwing a punch. Jules, not known for his power, stepped aside and slammed a counter left that dropped Avagyan. The knockdown gave him extra cushion on the scorecards, which he won 77-74, 78-73, and 79-72.