Orozco Gets the UD Nod in a Close Fight with Taylor in truTV Co-Feature


Antonio Orozco v Danny Escobar Tonight’s co-feature on the Top Rank promoted Metro PCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV was a bout between junior welterweights Antonio Orozco and Emanuel Taylor. The bout was scheduled 10 rounds, in front of fans at the US Airway Centre in Phoenix, Arizona.

The matchup was an interesting one with Orozco coming in as the “blue-chiper” of the two, but Taylor being a young veteran, so to speak. These were two fighters meeting head to head but arriving from two completely different paths.

It seemed like Taylor’s experience with better competition and in bigger fights would help him in this fight. Although Orozco was supposed to be the better fighter with a resume that had been leading to this very moment, he was facing a very capable opponent and that can spell trouble for a young fighter without the necessary experience.

In the first round, Orozco was able to gain control of the fight due to Taylor’s decision to stay planted and not move. Taylor was standing pretty stiff and remained a target for the San Diego resident Orozco, who was firing off some loud landing hooks to the body. The body work was the best part of Orozco’s first round activity. Taylor refused to box and almost never even attempted to fire back a counter shot to keep Orozco thinking.

Taylor might not have had a very productive first round, but he stepped it up in the second and both he and Orozco traded at times, making for some nice little firefights. Orozco was still pretty sharp with his attack, but he didn’t do as much work to the body as I’d hoped, although it wasn’t entirely abandoned. The one thing Orozco did differently in the second was his established countering. He was able to showcase his counter ability now that Taylor was letting his hands go a lot more.

Orozco’s jab was stiff and overwhelming, and it was also the foundation for many of the traps he set up that Taylor fell into. Taylor did have some success with his left hand uppercut, but it was never anything he used to put a series together.

Taylor looked hurt several times in the early going. Never hurt enough to be obvious, but enough that made me question Orozco’s ability to sniff out blood.

Orozco was impressive as the sharpshooter in the fight, but you can’t understate the way he aggressively made things happen in the fight. It was quite amazing and very impressive. Taylor began to box a little more in the middle rounds, presumably because he was starting to feel the power of his opponent, and that allowed Orozco to flex the Mexican style a bit more.

Orozco started closing the distance and found Taylor’s timing, it seemed as though Taylor was all out of options as the Mexican born fighter was in the process of putting it all together in this performance.

In a true lapse in judgment displayed in the 6th by the young prospect, Orozco turned his back to his opponent to complain about something to the ref, which Taylor tried to take full advantage of, and rightfully so. Taylor started to put together some impressive combinations and let his hands fly for the first time in several rounds.

Orozco seemed a bit overwhelmed but maintained his composure as best he could, and eventually he waited out and found a hole in Taylor’s exchange. With his back to the ropes, Orozco landed what he could and then smartly side stepped out of the corner. Taylor, who had slowed down a bit, threw an off-balance shot that missed widely, and in the process he lost his footing a bit. With Taylor’s balance vulnerability, Orozco decided to take advantage and began firing with shots to the body.

The dramatics in round 6 weren’t over yet as Orozco seemed to punch his self out a bit and let his foot of the gas and allowed Taylor to get off the ropes. Taylor stalked Orozco back into the ropes and unleashed a series of punches that were capped off with two left hands, one which landed flush, followed by a final right hand to end the 6th.

After a semi-comeback round for Taylor, he took the momentum and kept the pressure on Orozco. Taylor was finding comfort in the pocket, but he was still fighting in sporadic moments, giving his opponent the chance to regain composure and retaliate.

Still, Taylor fell into a real grove and made some of his shots really count. Orozco was forced to switch up his game plan just a bit and we saw him adapt, but the problem was he wasn’t adapting to create offense and was still getting caught because Taylor was unafraid of anything coming back to hurt him.

Taylor really controlled and dictated a lot of the action in the second half of the fight, although it would go the scorecards, the question would be did Taylor do enough in the first half of the fight to tip the scales in his favor, or was Taylor simply too far behind when he started his dominating effort.

Two of the judges scored the bout 96-94 for Orozco, which are understandable and appropriate scores for a close fight of this nature. However, the last judge scored the fight 98-92 in favor of Orozco, giving him the unanimous decision victory. It was a pathetic score and no way did Taylor only win two rounds in this fight. An argument could be made that he won two rounds in the first half of the fight and before his dramatic turnaround in the second half of the fight.

Taylor was somewhat of a hard luck loser tonight, but that doesn’t take away from the positives we saw in Orozco, although it slightly underwhelms them.

Still, Taylor did enough to keep his name and reputation in position for another high profile fight against a meaningful opponent. Although, I would like to see him get a soft touch in his next outing, but we’ll see.