Shinard Bunch started hot and might have thought he could cruise to victory on ShoBox tonight. Instead, Bryan Flores battled back from a 1st round knockdown, and wound up with his hand raised in a split decision victory.
If this fight had ended within six rounds, we’d be talking about how smart and disciplined Bunch (20-2-1, 16 KO) fought on the night. And, to his credit, Bunch did fight patiently, taking advantage of the early opportunities Flores (24-0-1, 13 KO) gave him without pressing too hard for a hasty finish.
Instead, the story became the heart and resilience of Flores, who never gave up after the early setback, and took complete control of the fight starting in the 6th round. It wasn’t a beautiful rally, with Flores relying on a variety of rugged tactics, wrestling around a bit and knocking into Bunch forehead-first on more than one occasion. But, it was effective, as Bunch slowed down, threw sparingly, and only fought in limited spurts in the back half of the night.
Unofficially, Bad Left Hook had it 95-94 for Bunch, with the first five rounds going his way, the last five to Flores, and the knockdown making the difference. The scores that mattered had one card 96-93 for Bunch, with the other two 95-94 and 97-92 for Flores.
The 97-92 Flores card is mystifying. But, the others were reasonable, and Bunch has no one to blame but himself for barely contesting half of the fight. He’s still just 23 years old, so there’s no reason to think we’ve seen the last of him. But, this was a fight that started out firmly in his hands, turned into a frustrating slog, and ended in a devastating setback of a defeat.
As for Flores, he never let up, and it paid off for him on the cards. He remains undefeated, and he’s earned the chance to potentially headline another ShoBox event.
Guido Schramm MD-10 Jahyae Brown
The chief support was a lively affair where the non-stop aggression of Guido Schramm wore down Jahyae Brown across ten rounds of active, in-close fighting.
Schramm (16-1-1, 9 KO) came in with a singular plan, trying to bulldog his way to victory, but burning a lot of energy on heavy hooks that went wild or only caught gloves and arms. Brown (13-1, 9 KO) defended himself smartly, earning most of the early rounds on the strength of smart defense and sharp return fire.
Schramm’s relentless pressure took a visible toll on Brown, who started getting caught hard in the 6th, and threw fewer and fewer punches as the rounds went by. Broadcast stats had Schramm often tripling up Brown on punches both thrown and landed in the second half, and that continuous activity won Schramm all of the last five rounds on two official scorecards, and four out of five on the final card. Official scores were 98-92, 97-93, and 95-95.
Raul Garcia SD-8 Robert Terry
The opener gave us a debatable, but not unreasonable, split draw for Raul Garcia and Robert Terry. Slower action in the first half, with Terry (9-0-1, 3 KO) wanting to counter but Garcia (12-0-1, 10 KO) fighting at a distance that left only brief opportunities to do it.
The action picked up significantly in the 6th round, and the faster pace wore Terry out more than it did Garcia. Garcia closed strong, with a particularly impressive 8th and final round, and it gave him a 77-75 edge on my unofficial card.
One judge agreed with a 77-75 official score in favor of Garcia. Another saw it the other way at 77-75 for Terry. The last just felt everyone did great, and turned in a 76-76 card to make it a split draw.