Rising undefeated welterweight prospect Janelson Figueroa Bocachica earned a closely-contested majority decision victory over Mark Reyes Jr. in the entertaining main event of Wednesday night’s ShoBox: The New Generation telecast from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., as ShoBox continues its 20th anniversary year as the premier boxing series aimed at developing prospects into contenders and world champions.
The judges scored the fight 95-95, 96-94 and 97-93 with the three only agreeing on four rounds.
It was an all-action affair between two undefeated power-punching prospects as Detroit’s Bocachica (17-0, 11 KOs) and Tampa’s Reyes (14-1, 12 KOs) exchanged devastating shots throughout the 10 rounds. The stats reflected how closely the fight was contested, as both fighters threw exactly 579 punches, with Bocachica connecting on 156 and Reyes connecting on 158.
“I felt like I had a unanimous decision but I just need to go back and watch the tape,” said the 22-year-old Bocachica. “I felt like it was an easy victory and I took him to school.”
It was a chippy contest, as both Bocachica and Reyes exchanged words and moments of showboating throughout.
“He had a short temper and he came out talking trash so you know I had to talk my trash back,” continued Bocachica. “But it was all part of the game plan to get him emotional in the ring and it worked in my advantage.”
On the other hand, a gracious Reyes promised to come back stronger than ever.
“I don’t disagree with the scorecards tonight,” said Reyes, who became the 196th fighter to lose their undefeated record on ShoBox. “I obviously could have done more to win but it was a close fight nonetheless. I just have to go back to drawing board and train harder. I need to execute things a little bit better during the preparation for my fight. I can’t take anything away from the judges.”
In the evening’s co-main event, highly regarded prospect Vladimir Shishkin (12-0, 7 KOs) continued his development into a serious contender in the super middleweight division with a near-shutout victory over Ghana’s Sena Agbeko (23-2, 18 KOs). The 29-year-old Shishkin fought with a large cut over his left eye for the majority of the fight, but was able to comfortably control the action in the unanimous decision win. The judges scored the fight 98-92 and 100-90 twice.
Shishkin, who is now 3-0 on the acclaimed prospect developmental series, was effective with his jab, landing 116 of 351 thrown, and was never truly troubled by Agbeko despite the cut. Shishkin landed 222 of the 596 punches he threw (37 percent), while the 28-year-old Agbeko connected on just 20 percent (109 of 555). In the 10th and final round, Shishkin pressed for the knockout but Agbeko stood tall until the final bell.
“I did have to overcome adversity tonight with the cut,” said the Russian Shishkin, who fought for the first time under new trainer L.J. Harrison. “But I have been cut many times in my career so I was able to deal with it. It affected me a little bit but that’s boxing.
“It was good to go the distance. I felt like I got a lot of good work in tonight and learned some things. I will improve a lot because of this fight and fix my mistakes. I am ready for a big fight after this.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, two all-action lightweights put on an entertaining affair, but it was Mexico’s Abraham Montoya (20-2-1, 14 KOs) who won a majority decision against previously undefeated ShoBox returnee Alejandro Guerrero (12-1, 9 KOs). The judges scored the fight 76-76, 79-73 and 77-75.
Both Montoya and Houston’s Guerrero, who scored a majority decision over Jose Angulo on ShoBox in March 2020, came out aggressively from the opening bell and combined to throw 235 punches in the first round. Both fighters would continue with the torrid pace, but it was Montoya who was more active and accurate. Montoya out-landed Guerrero 268-198 in total punches, including 71 body shots to Guerrero’s 49. The two combined to throw 1,623 punches throughout the eight rounds, and Montoya attributed the win to his conditioning.
“I felt great tonight and it was all because my physical trainer Raul Franco got me in shape for this fight,” said Montoya. “He is the reason I was able to throw so many punches tonight. I felt I could have kept that pace for 10 or 12 rounds if I had to.
“I felt good at lightweight and didn’t have to worry about my weight but I am definitely moving back down to super featherweight. I only moved up for this opportunity. I felt I would have knocked him out at super featherweight.”
In non-televised undercard action, Timur Kerefov (10-0, 5 KOs), a heralded amateur in his native Russia before turning pro in 2018, made quick work of previously undefeated late replacement opponent Fernando Ezequiel Farias (10-1-2). Kerefov dropped Farias with a body shot at 2:32 of the first round to earn the TKO victory.
It was announced on tonight’s telecast that one of boxing’s fastest-rising prospects Brandun Lee will return to the “Fight Sphere” at Mohegan Sun for the third time to take on fellow ShoBox veteran Samuel Teah Wednesday, March 10 live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT in the super lightweight main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation telecast.
Wednesday’s ShoBox: The New Generation telecast will replay on Thursday, February 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.
International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins called the action from ringside with fellow Hall of Famer and boxing historian Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
The event was promoted by Salita Promotions.