Friday, September 22, 2023  |


Janelson Bocachica outguns Mark Reyes Jr. in battle of unbeatens, wins majority decision

Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

In a matchup of power punching welterweights, Janelson Figueroa Bocachica and Mark Reyes Jr. entertained in an exciting 10-round affair.

But it was the 22-year-old Bocachica (17-0, 11 knockouts) who impressed the judges the most as he handed Reyes his first loss as a professional in a majority decision Wednesday at a crowdless Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Judge Don Trella scored the fight 95-95. But he was overruled by Don Ackerman and Steve Weisfeld, who scored the contest 97-93 and 96-94, respectively.

The unbeaten and charismatic Bocachica had not fought since last October, when he destroyed Nicklaus Flaz in a first-round knockout.

During his tutelage in the unpaid ranks, Bocachica, who began boxing at age 8, went 55-5 as an amateur, which included four straight Ringside Championships (2011-2014), the 2012 National PAL Championship, and the 2015 Detroit Golden Gloves.

When the fight began, Bocachica and Reyes fought at a strategic pace, with both fighters connecting with a few solid shots.

Early in round two, Bocachica knocked Reyes’ head back with a strong right hand. But Reyes rallied down the stretch to control the pace.

It was bombs away to begin round three as both fighters winged heavy shots. Reyes ended up doing the most damage, though, as he surprised Bocachica with a solid left hook before a right hand backed him into the ropes.

Late in the frame, Reyes (14-1, 12 KOs), who had a 46-bout amateur career, taunted Bocachica before lunging forward to land a left hook and followed up with a right hand that sent Bocachica into the ropes.

The action slowed dramatically in round six, but with approximately 10 seconds remaining, Bocachica timed Reyes with a short right hand that briefly knocked him off balance.

In the buildup to the bout, Reyes claimed the key to winning would be behind his jab.

However, Bocachica’s jab appeared to get stronger past the midway point and Reyes, who required three attempts to make the welterweight limit of 147 pounds at Tuesday’s weigh-in, was visibly fatigued.

According to Compubox, Bocachica landed 156 of 179 punches (27 percent), and Reyes connected on 158 of 579 blows (28 percent).

Reyes still had his moments in round nine, connecting with a strong left hook on the inside and an illegal elbow. But with less than a minute left in round nine, Bocachica popped Reyes with a short right hand that sent him stumbling forward.

Believing he had the fight won, Bocachica spent much of the final round taunting, while an exhausted Reyes attempted to let his hands go.

In the chief support bout, super middleweight prospect Vladimir Shishkin (12-0, 7 KOs) overcame a gruesome cut over his left eye to remain unbeaten in a one-sided unanimous decision victory over a game Sena Agbeko (23-2, 18 KOs).

Rounding out the rest of the undercard, Abraham Montoya (20-2-1, 14 KOs) handed Alejandro Guerrero (12-1. 9 KOs) his first loss as a pro in an eight-round majority decision. In an action-packed bout, both fighters threw a combined 1,623 punches. Montoya landed 268 of 1,000 blows (27 percent), and Guerrero connected 198 of 623 punches (32 percent).