Jose Benavidez Jr. 22-0 16KO’s stopped Jorge Paez Jr. 38-6 23KO’s in the opening seconds of the twelfth round Saturday night in a fight that ended spectacularly, but did little to silence his critics.
Benavidez, who won his WBA interim title in a controversial unanimous decision over Mauricio Herrera in December repeated his habit of laying on the ropes. Benavidez was dominant when his back was in the center of the ring he showed in spurts the reason he was so highly touted when turning pro.
Paez was tough and durable and fired shots at Benavidez while he was on the ropes but his failure to shift his position side to side and fire on Benavidez from angles led to his low connect percentage. He did what he was supposed to do, last and give the young champion rounds.
Coming out in the first seconds of the twelfth Benavidez fired a fast, hard one two followed up with a duo of hooks and dropped Paez. The Mexican beat the count but didn’t respond to referee Raul Caiz Jr. and stumbled to the ropes prompting him to waive the fight.
Benavidez has a lot of options at 140 and 147 but the competition will only get harder. With names like Provodnikov, Mathysse, Crawford, and now Antonio Orozco out there laying on the ropes won’t fly the way it did against the softer punching Herrera and Paez.
Antonio “Relentless” Orozco scored a unanimous decision victory over Emanuel “Transforma” Taylor in a crowd pleasing back and forth fight in the co-main event.
Orozco who is promoted by Golden Boy put on a solid performance against his most formidable foe to date and was another sign of the cooperation between Top Rank and Golden Boy. Taylor should still be commended and not written off because he could have easily be given a draw.
In a fight that saw Orozco live up to his “relentless” moniker in the early rounds he showed that he has some flaws that still need tightening. Taylor was able to land upper cuts frequently as Orozco was swarming and landing hard shots upstairs and downstairs.
Getting the better of the first half of the fight and winning the end of each round, Orozco appear to fade a little down the stretch as Taylor started coming forward to dictate the pace. Landing counter shots as he set traps for Orozco Taylor just didn’t seem to land enough to get the job done.
The judge’s final scores were 98-92 and 96-94 twice. Orozco has major upside because of his fan friendly style; he’s a handsome guy, well spoken, and his fights are perfect for TV. Taylor has nothing to feel bad for and surely will get another fight either on ESPN, HBO, Showtime or even PBC eventually.