Once-beaten welterweight fringe contender Luis Carlos Abregu shocked highly touted boxer-puncher Thomas Dulorme, stopping the undefeated prospect in the seventh round of an HBO Boxing After Dark main event in Verona, N.Y., on Saturday.
Thomas (16-1, 12 knockouts) was arguably the most ballyhooed young fighter to come out of Puerto Rico since Juan Manuel Lopez. However, the 22-year-old college grad had never faced a fighter as mature, experienced and rugged as Abregu, a 28-year-old Argentine veteran who had scored 27 knockouts in 33 pro bouts.
Abregu, whose only loss is a 2010 decision to current WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley, told HBO’s commentators prior to the fight that he would be too much for Dulorme and he backed his words up with his right hand, repeatedly scoring with the power punch throughout the fight.
Dulorme controlled the first two rounds, but Abregu (34-1, 28 KOs) hurt him with a big right hand over the better athlete’s jab midway through the third round. A follow-up bunch of shots put Dulorme down. Abregu, who landed 22 of 50 power punches in round three, according to CompuBox, hurt Dulorme with another right hand before the bell.
However, Dulorme did not give up. The tall, rangy boxer switched to a southpaw stance in the fourth round and landed flush left hands, momentarily halting Abregu’s momentum. The two went tit for tat in rounds five and six, but Abregu continued to find a home for his right, which stunned Dulorme with a minute left in the seventh.
Abregu stepped up his intensity, cornered Dulorme and dropped the prospect with a hook during an exchange with 38 seconds remaining in the round. Referee Benjy Esteves Jr. waved the fight off at 2:35 of the round on the request of Dulorme’s corner.
“My corner decided to stop the fight and I respect their decision,” said Dulorme, who led by one point on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage. “They were looking out for me.”
Abregu, who claims his vaunted right hand was inured during the Bradley fight, felt vindicated by the victory.
“We analyzed him with our team and we saw that he was too young (for me),” he said during his post-fight interview on HBO. “Maybe with time, we’ll see, maybe he’ll be a good fighter, but it was (too soon) to fight me.
“I feel so good I want a rematch with Tim Bradley.”