By Ryan Burton
Phoenix, Arizona - In his first fight since the controversial decision win over Mauricio Herrera last December, WBA interim-junior welterweight champion Jose Benavidez (23-0, 16KOs) stopped Jorge Paez Jr. (39-6-2, 23KOs) in the twelfth round of action.
After a slow first and a good action round in the second, Benavidez dropped Paez hard in the third with a hard shot to the body. Paez went down in pain and he was very hurt when he got back to his feet. Benavidez went after him to finish him off and started punishing Paez to the head and body. The tough Mexican spent most of the round trying to survive.
Paez recovered by the fourth. Benavidez controlled the fight but there were many moments where he allowed himself to get pinned against the ropes, where Paez let his hands go.
At the start of the twelfth, a right/left combination dropped Paez down on the seat of his pants. Paez got up on unsteady legs and the referee waved off the fight when Paez did not respond to his commands.
In the TruTv co-featured bout Antonio Orozco (22-0) took a big step forward with a close victory over Emanuel Taylor (18-4). The final tallies read 96-94 twice and an eyebrow raising 98-92.
The fight was viewed by most experts as a 50-50 bout that would prove that Orozco is indeed a top prospect or that Taylor, who holds a win over Karim Mayfield, and held his own in a decision loss to Adrien Broner, deserves another shot at a top name in the super lightweight division.
The action started out with both men throwing and landing big shots with few jabs thrown. Orozco landed huge punches in the second round and Taylor resorted to straying low to try and slow down his offense which resulted in a warning from the referee.
Taylor controlled the distance better in the third and appeared to win the round but was still taking a lot of punishment, especially to the body. Orozco bounded back in the fourth, landing several flush shots and hurt Taylor as the bell to end the round sounded.
Orozco had no trouble finding his target even though Taylor tried to stay on the outside in the fifth and sixth and use his speed advantage. Orozco cut off the ring effectively and went to both the body and head effectively. Orozco staggered Taylor with about a minute left in the sixth which brought out a roar from the crowd. Orozco appeared to punch himself out as Taylor landed a few power punches to end the round.
Orozco came out aggressive in the seventh as he wanted to regain the momentum that he had for most of the fight. He round was a lot closer than the previous few rounds and a welt began to swell under Orozco's right eye.
Taylor had a big eighth round. Orozco was tiring and Taylor was consistently beating him to the punch. The action slowed more in the 9th as both fighters were more selective with their punches but Taylor landed the harder and more effective shots.
Both fighters wanted to close the show strong with the fight potentially hinging on the final round. Taylor was the fresher fighter as he used his footwork to stay on the outside and avoid any big shots.
Hard hitting Trevor McCumby (18-0) kept his perfect record intact by destroying Marcus de Oliveira (22-2-1) in their light heavyweight bout. Oliveira went down mere seconds into the fight but bounced back up and went right at his opponent. McCumby patiently waited for an opening and landed a high light reel knockout in the second round that made Oliveira's head bounce on the canvas. The time of the stoppage was :42.
Super bantamweight prospect Carlos Castro (8-0) defeated Victor Serrano (4-9-1) via unanimous decision in their six round bout. Castro dominated his over matched opponent from the opening bell toll the end. The final scores were 60-54 on all three cards.
David Benavidez (8-0, 7KOs), younger brother of Jose, impressed his hometown fans with a second round TKO over Ricardo Campillo (9-7-1) in their light heavyweight fight. Benavidez dropped Campillo three times, the final one being a left hook that sent the 39-year-old to the canvas which prompted the ref to wave the fight off at the 1:21 mark.
Abel Ramos (11-0-2) looked impressive in his third round TKO victory over Angel Martinez (12-5-1) in their welterweight bout. Ramos forced Martinez to take a knee and the fight was waived off.