GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – July 22, 2021 – Exciting undefeated super middleweight prospects Kalvin Henderson and Isaiah Steen both made weight a day before their main event showdown headlining a special ShoBox: The New Generation 20-year anniversary telecast tomorrow night, Friday, July 23, live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Neb.

Just as it has for the past 20 years, Friday’s tripleheader features prospects matched tough. Henderson (14-0-1,10 KOs) meets knockout artist Steen (15-0, 12 KOs) in the first 10-rounder for both fighters. The co-feature pits ShoBox veteran Janelson Bocachica (17-0, 11 KOs) of Detroit against 21-year-old Shinard Bunch (15-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout. In a battle of unbeatens, Martino Jules (10-0-2, 2 KOs) faces Aram Avagyan (10-0-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight affair.


Super Middleweight 10-Round Bout
Kalvin Henderson – 166 pounds
Isaiah Steen – 168 pounds
Referee: Mark Nelson (Minn.) Judges: Josef Mason (Colo.), Mike Contreras (Neb.), Jeff Sinnett (Neb.)

Welterweight 10-Round Bout
Janelson Bocachica – 146 ½ pounds
Shinard Bunch – 146 ½ pounds
Referee: Mark Nelson (Minn.) Judges: Josef Mason (Colo.), Mike Contreras (Neb.), Jeff Sinnett (Neb.)

Featherweight Eight-Round Bout
Martino Jules – 125 ¼ pounds
Aram Avagyan – 129 pounds*
*Avagyan came in over the featherweight limit. The fight will proceed as scheduled.
Referee: Mark Nelson (Minn.) Judges: Josef Mason (Colo.), Mike Contreras (Neb.), John Klemiato (Neb.)


Kalvin Henderson

“Boxing is a numbers game. To get to the bigger stage you have to look good on paper. It doesn’t make sense for me to be 13-0 and fight Canelo. So, we have to keep the numbers up. I’ll plan to fight two or three more times this year alone, to make up for 2020 and the pandemic year and being inactive.

“I’m not sure how he’ll fight me. When you look at film of him, he’s always walking forward and letting his hands go. But when I’ve seen him spar he likes to use his jab and use his feet. So we’re prepared for both. It’s all about adjustments and adapting.

“I don’t think he is my toughest opponent, but we’ll see Friday night. I feel like I have to win every fight, but this one especially. This is the third time Steen and I have been matched up, so third time’s a charm. We gotta make this happen.

“I graduated in 2012 with my music degree from the University of Arkansas. As a music major you have to learn every instrument, so I dabble in a lot of them, but my main instrument is percussions. I kind of put everything on hold in 2013 and put all my energy into boxing. But I used to do both. I used to teach part-time at the high school in Fayetteville. And I was also teaching at the gym. But I sat down with my coach and prayed about it and said I can’t be a part-time boxer. So I put everything I had into it. But can I still play drums? Most definitely.

“I think it comes down to whoever imposes the most force will win. He’s skilled, I’m skilled. I’m undefeated, he’s undefeated. When you fight someone who is undefeated you have to break their will because they think they should win too. I really think it will come down who wants it more.”

Isaiah Steen

“I am very familiar with Kalvin Henderson. It’s a fight that’s been a long time coming. I know that he’s got a good straight right hand but I need to capitalize on his weaknesses and get him out of there. I just need to be busier and outwork him.

“I think my last fight was my best performance. Juan De Angel fought a lot of tough opponents and world champions like Austin Trout and Caleb Plant. I got him out of there and those guys couldn’t get him out. I threw a lot of good body shots. My body shots were there and I did a little more boxing. I showed off my boxing skills.

“I’m so happy to have this opportunity. This is a big step-up for me. It’s the biggest fight of my career so far. I’m ready for the spotlight.

“After this fight, I want people to know me for my own name. Everybody knows me as Charles Conwell’s brother. I want to make a name for myself.”

Janelson Bocachica

“From my last fight, I learned not to be showboating so much. I was comfortable. But you can’t be showboating like that, that’s for sure. I can’t let that happen.

“To me, I felt like I won all 10 rounds in my fight against Mark Reyes. He caught me with clean punches but he never hurt me. He was a strong dude. He didn’t have a ton of power on his shots but he could pick me up, that’s for sure. I had fun the whole 10 rounds, I controlled the fight and it’s something I wouldn’t mind doing again.

“I had never heard of Shinard Bunch until my fight with Mark Reyes. I know that they are sparring partners and teammates. I don’t know why they came for me. They must have heard of me. It’s not a problem, though. I’ll shut down their gym.

“I think Mark Reyes is going to tell Shinard Bunch to run. To not stand there and bang with me. Shinard Bunch isn’t Mark Reyes. Mark Reyes was a shorter, compact fighter. Shinard Bunch is taller and I think he’s going to try to use the jab. But that jab isn’t going to stop me from doing anything.

“I sparred with Tony Harrison and that was great work. I’m getting work from taller guys and guys with a lot of experience. I don’t think this fight is going to be as easy as Shinard Bunch thinks. I saw he was quoted as saying he’s going to fight a smart fight against me. There is no smart fight against me. If he would have had a smart fight, he would have chose somebody else.”

Shinard Bunch

“This fight means everything to me. Growing up, it was always a dream of mine to fight on ShoBox or SHOWTIME. Showtime is my actual middle name, so it was always a dream and it was destiny. When I was born, my mom said he’s going to be a star one day and gave me the middle name Showtime.

“I would definitely say that I’m an aggressive boxer. But we take every fight differently. Every fight is different so we come in with a certain game plan for each fight. Sometimes you may see me more relaxed and sometimes you may see me aggressive.

“I was in the same training camp as Mark Reyes and that was my first time hearing about Bocachica. I’m not too familiar with him. I watched his fight against Reyes. I know he likes to get into fire fights, but I need to outwork him. I think my power is severe and it’s real.

“I feel confident going 10 rounds. We’ve been training for that. I’m confident in myself. And as far as the weight, my first six fights were all at 147 pounds. Then I went down and tried 140. The jump in weight isn’t too drastic. I feel more comfortable at 147 pounds but if we get a fight after this at 140, that’s not a problem either.

“I’ve been working with Chino Rivas for eight months. I feel like I benefitted all-around working with him. He put me around some great people, great mentors. He’s always there for me, he cares for me as a person outside of boxing. It’s not just about boxing with him. He’s in my life personally and as a father-figure, it’s definitely benefitting me and it makes me want to work harder. He took Jason Sosa and turned him into a world champion, he took Tevin Farmer and turned him into a world champion so I know he has the ability and the mindset to turn me in to a world champion. He always tells me if I follow his lead, he’ll take me to the promised land.”

Martino Jules

“I describe my style as being a boxer-puncher. As for my opponent, from what I’ve seen I’m a better boxer than he is. He has two more knockout wins than me, so pretty much he knows how to punch. He wants his opponents to stand in front of him and not moving around. Aram opens up a lot, and relies on his power punches.

“I was supposed to fight on ShoBox back in October, but my opponent got sick the day of the fight. It will be great to finally be back in the ring and know that all my hard work and sacrifice has paid off.

“I don’t really know what the future holds or what to expect next. I’m just looking forward to winning and whoever they want to bring to me next, I’ll be ready for them. I’m in the gym every day and training hard to get better. Just like any fighter, I’m ready for the next step. So whatever it is, I’ll be ready for it.”

Aram Avagyan

“I’m a slow starter so I plan to come out a little quicker. Maybe I’ll shadow box two rounds in the locker room before I go out there. After the third and fourth rounds I start to feel better. The longer the fight goes, the better I fight.

“I have observed my opponent and I know his strengths and weaknesses. I don’t want to leave anything to the judges’ decision so I’m looking for the knockout. The public loves an all-action fighter, and that’s what they will see on Friday night. I’m a warrior and I love action.

“Boxing is a mental sport and if you can control your emotions, you can control anything. You can win the fight before the fight. You can mentally break your opponent down.”


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About ShoBox: The New Generation
This year, the critically acclaimed prospect developmental series, ShoBox: The New Generation, celebrates its 20th anniversary on the air as it continues to match top young talent tough. Since its inception in July 2001, the ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 84 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Errol Spence Jr., Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more.