Tiatia wins by unanimous decision in professional debut

Pano Tiatia (red, black and blue trunks) vs. John Orr Jr. (black and orange trunks), Victory Promotions Fight Night, Boxing, St. George, Utah, Apr. 30, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – It was not quite David vs. Goliath, but maybe David vs. Goliath’s smaller brother. Pano Tiatia went against “Big John” Orr in his professional boxing debut and came out on top by unanimous decision with the score on all three cards 40-36 in the four round bout.

Pano Tiatia (red, black and blue trunks) vs. John Orr Jr. (black and orange trunks), Victory Promotions Fight Night, Boxing, St. George, Utah, Apr. 30, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Pano Tiatia (red, black and blue trunks) vs. John Orr Jr. (black and orange trunks), Victory Promotions Fight Night, Boxing, St. George, Utah, Apr. 30, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“That dude could hit,” said Tiatia. Orr outweighed Tiatia 320- to 230-pounds and towered over him by seven inches. Tiatia’s strategy soon became clear. “I wanted to get in quick and get out quick. Land some quick combos and get out before he could land a punch.”

Tiatia worked the strategy to perfection in the first round. He continually zoomed in, landed the one-two, then deftly dodged the haymaker that was coming his direction. Tiatia also kept Orr at bay so that the bigger man could not use his reach advantage to land any consistent jabs.

In the second round however, Big John connected on not one, but two counters that clearly rocked Tiatia.

“I definitely felt those,” said a smiling Tiatia. “But you know what? My dad hits me a lot harder. That is one thing I have definitely learned with my training — how to take a punch.”

Pano Tiatia (red, black and blue trunks) vs. John Orr Jr. (black and orange trunks), Victory Promotions Fight Night, Boxing, St. George, Utah, Apr. 30, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Pano Tiatia (red, black and blue trunks) vs. John Orr Jr. (black and orange trunks), Victory Promotions Fight Night, Boxing, St. George, Utah, Apr. 30, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Orr had Tiatia cornered after the two blows, but Tiatia responded with a left hook that found its mark and was able to escape the corner.

In the third round, Tiatia was landing his body punches and avoiding Orr’s counters. “In the first three rounds, I was just trying to land punches and score points,” said Tiatia. “But as big as he is, I knew the body punches were not going to end the fight.”

In the fourth and final round, Tiatia went to the body rarely and instead took whatever opportunity he could for the knockout punch. His few punches were measured and found their mark, but still did not faze the bigger Orr. Orr landed even fewer punches and by the end of the fight was laboring.

After the fight, Orr smiled. He had predicted two things. One, he would not be counted out, and two, he would give Tiatia a good fight. “I think the audience got their money’s worth,” he said.

Below are the results for the fights on the undercard Saturday night:

Joshua Jones defeated Jason Thompson by TKO, called by the referee 2:33 into the third round.

Donovan Cameron defeated L.J. Schulz by TKO, called by the referee 2:28 into the second round.

Carlos Sanchez defeated Rashawn McClain by knockout 1:32 into the first round.

Jaron Ennis defeated Cory Muldrew by knockout :42 into the first round.

Zsolt Daranyi defeated Jacob Szilasi by TKO, called by the referee :49 into the fifth round.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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