Thomas Dulorme (right) poses with Marcos Maidana, who he trained with going into his ShoBox debut on Friday. Dulorme’s goal is to one day fight on HBO as the Argentine veteran does.
Thomas Dulorme was out to make an impression during an off-TV undercard bout on the HBO-televised scrap between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto last April. With many eyes on him, the power-punching welterweight prospect authored a devastating knockout of Harrison Cuello – so impressive that HBO showed highlights, even though that wasn’t originally the plan.
The knockout created an explosion-like sound that resonated throughout the Foxwoods Theater in Manhantucket, Conn., which, of course, was followed by an industry buzz around the 22-year-old Carolina, Puerto Rico resident.
Dulorme (13-0, 10 knockouts) will once again have an opportunity to further his cause in the sport, as he makes his ShoBox: The New Generation debut on Friday at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif. against late-replacement Ariz Ambriz (11 p.m. ET).
“It’s a great opportunity for me to show the world what I’m made of,” Dulorme told RingTV.com through his translator Ricardo Rodriguez. “It’s a huge showcase for me and the main event is even better.”
Dulorme was originally slated to face Jose Reynoso, but the Mexican native was forced to withdraw with a hip injury. In stepped, Ambriz (16-2-1, 8 knockouts), a 26-year-old Southern Californian who coincidentally fought Reynoso twice, going 0-1-1.
Though Dulorme is regarded as one of the best prospects in boxing, he doesn’t feel any added pressure, though he realizes he must work harder as the competition stiffens.
“I don’t feel any pressure, I just know that I have to work harder to live up to the expectations for me,” said Dulorme. “I’m going to work hard to show the people what I’m made of.”
Dulorme faced his toughest test to date last year, a bout with former junior welterweight beltholder and long-time contender DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, a fight he won with ease. He believes that soon enough the boxing public will see he’s a future world champion.
“I want people to see the fight to think I have the potential to become a world champion,” said Dulorme. “I want the fans to know that I have the talent and that I fight for Puerto Rico.”
Dulorme is well aware of the rich boxing history on his island and one day hopes to be mentioned in the same breath with the likes of Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto.
“In Puerto Rico, boxing is part of the culture and like a religion,” said Dulorme. “When I say I fight for Puerto Rico, I really mean it. It’s a big thing on my heart and I have great pride for Puerto Rico. I want to get to the point where Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad were before me. I will prove I’m on that level.”
Dulorme stands tall for a welterweight at 5-foot-10, but he feels as he matures that he won’t go beyond junior middleweight.
“I feel I have the type of body where I can stay at welterweight for four or five years,” said Dulorme, who is promoted by Gary Shaw, Lou DiBella and Javier Bustillo. “But when the time comes when my body is bigger I will go to 154, but that is the biggest I will go.”
The decorated amateur hopes that 2012 will be his year, with an HBO date in his sights.
“I’ve already talked to my team and my three promoters, this will be the year I step up to a better class of fighters,” said Dulorme. “I feel that this year I will be stepping up in class and possibly fighting on HBO.”
Photo / Ricardo Rodriguez-Universal Promotions
Mike Coppinger is a regular boxing contributor to USA TODAY and THE RING. He is a member of THE RING Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Sports Boxing Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger