Shinard Bunch vs. Bryan Flores | Showtime - April 7, 2023
Posted: 14 Mar 2023, 05:41
Nearly two months after O’Shaquie Foster became the 88th SHOBOX: The New Generation alumni to win a world title, two young super lightweight prospects will battle it out on the prospect-oriented series as returnee Shinard Bunch (20-1-1, 16 KOs) from Queens, N.Y., takes on Mexico’s Bryan Flores (23-0-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight contest Friday, April 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT live on Showtime from Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, Calif.
The ShoBox tripleheader pits six fighters with a combined record of 95-2-1 and 62 knockouts.
In the co-main event, Neri Romero (16-0, 9 KOs) of Argentina takes on Frency Fortunato (15-1, 11 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in a 10-round super featherweight bout. The telecast opener pits Raul Garcia (12-0, 10 KOs) of the Dominican Republic against Robert Terry (9-0, 3 KOs) of Jersey City, N.J., with both fighters putting their unbeaten streaks to the test in an eight-round super welterweight bout. They all hope to one day follow in the footsteps of Foster, who out-dueled Rey Vargas on February 11 on SHOWTIME to capture the WBC Super Featherweight World Championship after he fought four times on SHOBOX.
The card is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz and his Sampson Boxing promotion company.
“We are excited to put on our third SHOBOX event over the first four months of the year that will once again feature step-up battles for each fighter,” said Gordon Hall, executive producer for SHOBOX: The New Generation. “Our main event is an elevated SHOBOX bout with Shinard Bunch facing Bryan Flores in their toughest test with the winner on the verge of becoming a contender. That’s the essence of SHOBOX – the winner punches their ticket and moves a step closer to becoming a champion while the runner-up gains exposure and a learning experience to grow on and stay in the hunt.”
Here is more on each of the three bouts:
Bunch vs. Flores – 10-Round Super Lightweight Main Event
Managed by International Boxing Hall of Famer, J. Russel Peltz, the 23-year-old Bunch suffered a controversial split draw in his SHOBOX debut against the tough and undefeated Janelson Figueroa Bocachica. Following the draw, he reeled off five consecutive wins, including his last fight in December, a unanimous decision against Henry Lundy. Since turning pro in 2019, Bunch fought five times in 2020 and eight times in 2021 before slowing down a bit with three bouts in 2022. Bunch’s only pro loss came in 2019 in just his third fight, a unanimous decision loss to SHOBOX alum and amateur standout Paul Kroll. Bunch started his boxing path at age 7 and had more than 400 amateur fights, earning a No. 3 national ranking from the 2016 Nationals and a spot on the USA Boxing national team. A native of Queens, N.Y., Bunch currently lives and trains in Trenton, N.J.
“It’s a blessing to be back on SHOBOX,” said Bunch, who was on the same USA National team as Errol Spence Jr., and Shakur Stevenson. “Not only on SHOBOX, but as a main event. I’ve always dreamed of this. I have a great opponent who is very tough, and I know he’s coming to fight. He’s 23-0 looking to make a statement, so this is definitely going to be a war. This fight should come down to who wants it more.”
Flores was a Mexican national champion as an amateur in 2010 and 2011 and a bronze medalist in 2012. He fought 90 times in the amateur ranks suffering just eight defeats. Flores has fought almost entirely in Mexico, except for one bout in Carson in December of 2021 when he knocked out Tyrone Luckey in the first round.
“I think my opportunity has arrived, I am very motivated,” Flores said. “I am happy for the opportunity and I want to give everything in each training session. I feel that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Romero vs. Fortunato – 10-Round Super Featherweight Bout
Romero amassed a 49-7 amateur record with 12 KOs. He was a 2014 gold medalist of the Star Tournament (Torneo de las estrellas) and 2015 champion at the Challenge Tournament of Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Romero fought twice in 2022, his last win coming by way of eighth-round TKO in August against Jorge Sanchez.
“I’m glad to come back to the U.S. for such a great opportunity,” Romero said. “This is the most important fight of my career as a great win will put me in a great position to finally have shot at the world title. I’ll do anything to get away with an impressive victory. That’s exactly what I’m training for.”
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Fortunato has fought just twice in the U.S, and last September he showed his boxing skills and power holding off a late rally from the aggressive Bernard Torres to capture a split decision on SHOBOX in Atlantic City, N.J. Previously, he stopped Julio Buitrago in two rounds in Daytona Beach in August 2020 and prior to that win, he had beaten two consecutive undefeated opponents in then 14-0 Marcos Muniz and then 6-0 Misael Vasquez. Fortunato’s lone blemish came at the hands of Argentine Alberto Ezequiel Melian in a 10-round unanimous decision loss in Argentina in which Fortunato sent Melian to the canvas four times.
“I’m so happy to come back to SHOBOX and I want to thank my manager Gardner Payne, who is helping me to reach my goal to become world champion,” Fortunato said. “I know my opponent is experienced and has fought internationally, but he’s never faced a boxer like me and when we finally meet he will see that I am one of the top featherweight boxing prospects in the world.”
Garcia vs. Terry – Eight-Round Super Welterweight Bout
An excellent puncher with fast hands, 24-year-old Garcia of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, had over 150 amateur fights before turning professional in May 2021 and quickly rattled off a dozen impressive victories over domestic competition, including taking the undefeated “0” of countryman Francisco Ernesto Sanchez. He was last seen in December 2022, stopping then 22-3 veteran Angel Yomar Mateo in six rounds. Garcia says he began to dream of becoming a world champion after meeting the great Oscar De La Hoya as a young amateur.
“This will be my first trip to the U.S. to fight, and I want to show that I deserve this big opportunity,” Garcia said. “I know that many fighters who start on SHOBOX reach my dream of becoming a world champion. I hope to reach the heights of my idol, Oscar De La Hoya someday.”
Terry began boxing at age 14 and won five New Jersey Golden Glove titles, including four at 152 pounds. He was a 2017 National Golden Gloves finalist at 165 pounds. Born and raised in Jersey City, N.J., Terry had approximately 65 amateur fights and fought in Ireland in 2010 as an amateur.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to fight on SHOBOX,” Terry said. “I see this as a chance to showcase my talent in front of a national audience and I’m hopeful that this win could lead to bigger opportunities for me. I have a great team that I trust and I can’t wait to execute the game plan on April 7.”