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Shinard Bunch is on the verge of contention heading into ShoBox headliner

Shinard Bunch fought five times in 2020, and is on pace to fight even more frequently in 2021.
Fighters Network

Shinard Bunch was not going to let a pandemic get in the way of developing as a prizefighter, particularly after suffering from a loss. Now Bunch is a win or two away from contending in one of boxing’s most competitive divisions.

Bunch will square off against Bryan Flores of Mexico Friday night at the Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks, California. The 10-round bout will headline a three-bout ShoBox telecast (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

In his last bout on December 9, Bunch overcame a knockdown to defeat former world title challenger Henry ‘Hank’ Lundy by unanimous decision. Bunch made his ShoBox debut in July 2021, fighting to a draw against Janelson Figueroa Bocachica in a fight several media members and fans thought Bunch did enough to win.

The 23-year-old made noise during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when fighters were not as active, Bunch fought five times in 2020 and eight times in 2021. Bunch believed it was best for him to remain active, and he did not mind traveling across the country to look for a place where he could fight and continue developing as a prizefighter.

“I was active (during this time) because I wanted to grow in my career,” Bunch told The Ring Wednesday afternoon. “My co-promoter Nedal (Abuhumoud) wanted to keep me active, so whenever he called my name, I came running and ready.”

Bunch (20-1-1 1 NC, 16 knockouts), who currently resides and trains in Trenton, New Jersey, will face a tough challenge in Flores (23-0-1, 13 KOs). The 27-year-old fought sporadically during the pandemic, fighting once in 2020 and twice in 2021. 

Flores defeated Placido Ramirez by unanimous decision in his last bout on December 15, and also has wins over Ramon Mascarena, who entered the fight unbeaten. Despite being the favorite, Bunch is not overlooking Flores. 

“Bryan is definitely a fighter you can’t underestimate,” said Bunch, who is also co-promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz. “He comes to fight, but I feel like everyone I’ve fought came to fight. Some more than others. I just have to show again why I’m better.”

Bunch suffered his only blemish on his record in August 2019, losing by unanimous decision to Paul Kroll in a clash of unbeaten fighters. The loss to Kroll marked Bunch’s third fight as a pro. 

Despite the loss to Kroll, Bunch dedicated his time and effort to the sport, living and breathing boxing. To complement his devastating power, Bunch has worked on improving his skill-set with trainer Raul ‘Chino’ Rivas. The plan has worked thus far, and he has gained a sense of confidence, something that will come a long way as Bunch continues marching down a path to contender status.

“I learned to never underestimate your opponent,” said Bunch. “I learned to push myself harder to never feel or take a loss again. 

“I’ve learned to set up my shots more for bigger shots. I’ve worked more on my jab since the Bocachica fight. (I’m utilizing) more angles, more punches.”

Bunch has split his time fighting between 140 and 147 pounds. As his body grows, Bunch will eventually move up and stay at welterweight and ultimately make the move to 154 pounds.

For now, Bunch is going up against fellow top prospects and unbeaten fighters. The win over Lundy was a blessing in disguise for Bunch in that it forced Bunch to come up with a more-consistent training regiment and to improve on all facets of the sport.

“I feel comfortable at both weights. For now, I will stay and build myself at 140 pounds.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 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 at [email protected]