By Mariano A. Agmi; photos by DiBella Entertainment/Ed Diller
Puerto Rican prospect Thomas Dulorme (16-1, 12 KOs) returns to the ring Thursday after suffering his first defeat as a professional. The 23-year old will headline the DiBella Entertainment “Broadway Boxing” event from the Roseland Ballroom in New York City against Eddie Brooks (9-3, 3 KOs) Phoenix, AZ.
Only a few months ago, Dulorme was considered a sure-shot prospect and Puerto Rico’s fastest rising star. Despite only 16 pro bouts, Dulorme showed the power, speed and poise that reminded some of his countryman the great Felix “Tito” Trinidad. Unfortunately, the title of heir apparent was emphatically shattered on October 27, 2012, when Dulorme stepped up against Argentinean strongman Carlos “El Potro” Abregu for the vacant WBC International welterweight title.
Dulorme started the bout off well against Abregu, using his speed, counterpunching ability and superior technique to win rounds one and two. However, a right hand in round three dropped the prospect hard and changed the dynamic of the contest. Dulorme survived the round and, switching from orthodox to southpaw, even won a few of the subsequent rounds before another right hand in round seven set up a left hook that knocked him down a second time. Dulorme got up and wanted to continue, but trainer Jose Bonilla had seen enough and asked the referee to spare his boxer to fight another day.
FightNews caught up with Dulorme earlier this week to discuss his first pro loss, how he dealt with defeat, and his return to the ring.
How is training camp going?
Good, we started working right after my last fight and everything is ready for Thursday.
You had a tough fight against Carlos Abregu in your last bout. You started off well in rounds 1 and 2, showing quickness and throwing sharp punches, but he was able to hurt you in round 3. What happened?
Abregu is talented. He was very strong for the entire fight. He fights in a disorganized manner. He throws punches from awkward angles and you don’t know where the punches are coming from. He hurt me and I couldn’t recover, but he only won the third and seventh rounds. He dropped me hard in the third round from a punch I didn’t see coming. I was still a little hurt in round four but I was recovering and won rounds five and six. Then he dropped me again in round seven. I was ok and I thought my corner would let me continue, but they chose to stop it. He had a good night.
Was Abregu too experienced for you?
He had 34 fights and 28 knockouts. He had lots of experience, but I don’t have any excuses. He was better than me that night. I would like a rematch.
You switched from orthodox to southpaw a few times during the fight and it looked like you were confusing him. You were effective as a southpaw but when you switched back, he was able to catch you with right hands. Did you switch to southpaw instinctively, or was that part of your game plan?
It was an instinctive reaction to change to lefty. He was hitting me from my natural stance, so I tried to switch to southpaw to see if it worked. I could tell that I confused him and I was doing well, but I’m naturally right handed and returned to that later because I felt more comfortable.
You’re moving to junior welterweight for this fight – considering that it was previously tough to make 140, do you plan on staying at this weight, or is this temporary?
My team believes that I am more powerful and explosive at junior welterweight. You have to work to make weight, but I don’t think I’ll spend much time at 140. I’d like to fight a few times at 140, get my career back on track, and then I’ll move to 147 for a rematch with Abregu. If he is still on a winning streak, I’ll fight him. If he loses, then I’m not interested in fighting him again and I’ll move on.
What did you learn from that fight? Did you see anything in particular that you need to improve, or did he just catch you with some good shots?
I learned many things. I always see things I can improve after my fights. We’re working on more power. I was hitting Abregu cleanly but I wasn’t really hurting him. He’s a very strong fighter and he had a good night, but I’m better than him technically and I want to prove it. We came back to the gym immediately after that fight and I wanted the rematch right away, but instead we’re going to take some time, gain experience and then hopefully fight a rematch with Abregu in the future.
What are your plans for this year?
My promoters Lou DiBella, Gary Shaw and Javier Bustillo are looking to do four or five fights this year. I won’t let this loss deter me from reaching my goals. After the fight on Thursday I plan to return in Puerto Rico in April. If it were up to me, I would fight for a world title at 140 first, make one defense and then return to welterweight for another championship.
You launched a construction and design firm last year. How is that going?
It was one of my dreams to start a construction and design company. I started it a year ago. I’m developing it right now. I have a few clients and a manager and a few people working on it so that I can fully focus on boxing and bring a title back to Puerto Rico. When I’m not training, I check on the business and I hope to do good things for the people of Puerto Rico.
How do you feel about returning to NYC?
I’m very happy to be back in New York City. Every Puerto Rican fighter enjoys fighting there because the fans know boxing and always support Puerto Rican fighters. I expect to give the fans a great performance Thursday!
Thursday’s “Broadway Boxing” card is promoted by Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment. Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) or at the box office. Doors open at 6:30p and the first bell is at 7p.