Undefeated junior welterweight contender Antonio Orozco (22-0) is ready to to pull an Jose Benavidez (23-0). Benavidez challenged former interim WBA World super lightweight Mauricio Herrera and won by controversial unanimous decision in December 2014. Ironically, it is now Orozco who wants to do just that, challenge the champion and snag the title in the process.
Last Friday evening from the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, the two fighters co-headlined a TruTv televised card.
In the televised co-main event, Orozco faced battle-tested Emmanuel Taylor. In the beginning of the fight, Orozco was able to keep Taylor off balance at the beginning of the fight, as the 27-year-old was too fast, and hard to hit.
In the second half, Taylor began to find the target, as it appeared Orozco had begun to slow down. In addition, Taylor’s punches were landing with precision, with both eyes swollen considerably on Orozco, but he managed to escape with a unanimous decision.
For Jose Benavidez, it was more of the same against a very different, difficult fighter. Benavidez, the older brother of up-and-coming light-heavyweight prospect David Benavidez, who also scored a TKO on the card, looked unbeatable early on.
The taller, lengthier Benavidez used his 73′ inch reach to keep Paez from trapping him against the ropes. However, it didn’t last long. Paez gave the champion trouble every time he was able to get on the inside successfully, not allowing Benavidez to get his arms extended. In the end, it was all for not, as Benavidez scored multiple knockdowns in the fight, with the conclusive counter left hook in the 12th, which put the nail in the coffin for Paez’s chances.
With both fighters known for having similar problems, it could prove to be an interesting fight. Ultimately, I believe it will come down to who sets the tone from the opening bell. Whoever does that, could dominate, or it could be close. We won’t know until they fight. On the same foot, if this fight takes place in Phoenix, Benavidez’s hometown, it could mean Orozco could risk losing by decision either way.