Shinard Bunch forced Janelson Bocachica to eat jabs, right hands and his words Friday night.
Inexplicably, though, only one of the three judges scored their 10-round welterweight fight for Bunch, who clearly out-boxed Bocachica. Detroit’s Bocachica escaped with a split draw because judge Josef Mason scored the fight for him, 96-94, and judge Jeff Sinnett scored a bout Bunch obviously deserved to win a draw, 95-95.
Judge Mike Contreras scored seven rounds for Bunch, 97-93.
The 22-year-old Bunch (15-1-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC), of Trenton, New Jersey, wore a stunned look as he left the ring at Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Nebraska. Even Bocachica (17-1-1, 11 KOs) seemed surprised when the result of their fight was announced as a draw.
Showtime televised their dubious draw as the co-feature of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecast that commemorated the 20th anniversary of the network’s long-running prospect series.
If nothing else, Bunch still hasn’t lost in his 14 fights since Philadelphia’s Paul Kroll (8-0, 6 KOs) beat him by unanimous decision in a six-rounder nearly two years ago in Philadelphia.
The 22-year-old Bocachica, who predicted he’d knock out Bunch, went off as a 6-1 favorite, according to multiple Internet sports books.
Seemingly way ahead on the cards, Bunch patiently worked off his jab during the final round. Bocachica, who appeared in need of a knockout, wasn’t all that aggressive in those final three minutes.
Bunch snapped back Bocachica’s head with yet another jab when there were 45 seconds left on the clock in the 10th and final round.
A chopping right hand by Bunch landed to the side of Bocachica’s head barely 30 seconds into the ninth round. Bunch connected with another right hand several seconds later that caused Bocachica to hold him.
Bunch blasted Bocachica with a right uppercut when there were just under 10 seconds remaining in the ninth round.
Bocachica connected with a right hand with just under 30 seconds left in the eighth round, but Bunch again took it well.
After failing to hit Bunch with flush punches during most of the six previous rounds, Bocachica blasted Bunch with an overhand right with approximately 30 seconds to go in the seventh round. Bocachica caught Bunch with another right hand to the side of his head about 15 seconds later.
Another stiff jab by Bunch stopped Bocachica in his tracks less than a minute into the sixth round. Bunch worked well off his jab for the remainder of the sixth round as well.
A left hook by Bunch knocked Bocachica into the ropes less than 30 seconds into the fifth round. Bunch landed to more jabs, the second of which he followed up with a right hand, in the final minute of the fifth round.
Bunch connected with two hard jabs with just under two minutes to go in the fourth round. Bunch, who continued to make Bocachica miss wildly with some of his shots, snapped back Bocachica’s head with another jarring jab when there approximately 35 seconds left in the fourth round.
Bunch drilled Bocachica with a right hand that backed him up just after the halfway point of the second round. A jarring jab by Bunch snapped back Bocachica’s head later in the second round.
A low blow by Bocachica caused a brief break in the action with 50 seconds to go in the second round. Bunch landed a right hand to the side of Bocachica’s head after Bocachica missed with a left hand late in the second round.
Bocachica connected with a hard jab 35 seconds into the opening round. Bunch snuck in a right uppercut 1:10 into the first round.
Bunch made Bocachica reset his feet with just over 40 seconds to go in the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.