by Eric Raskin
As 1940s and ’50s major league pitcher Preacher Roe once famously said (and as the film The Big Lebowski more famously adapted), “Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.” Highly touted 22-year-old Puerto Rican welterweight prospect Thomas Dulorme stared down the bear on Saturday night in the form of Argentine bruiser Carlos Abregu. And, as happens sometimes when talented but inexperienced fighters are willing to step up and take risks, the bear ended up with a full belly.
Abregu (34-1, 28 KOs) scored a violent knockdown in the third round, then finished off Dulorme (16-1, 12 KOs) in the seventh with another knockdown that prompted the younger fighter’s corner to halt the bout. The end came at the 2:35 mark of round seven at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.
The Dulorme bandwagon will empty quickly because of a single unexpected defeat; that’s the way things tend to go in sports these days. But it’s not necessarily a fair or even correct response. This fight didn’t expose Dulorme as a fraud. It merely exposed him as a fighter with a lot of room to improve, particularly defensively. And it happened because Abregu was a high hurdle for any developing fighter to clear, a heavy-handed, in-his-prime warrior who had only lost once in 34 previous pro bouts, against the excellent Timothy Bradley.
“We analyzed [Dulorme], and we saw that he was too young,” Abregu said afterward when asked how he scored the mild upset. “Maybe with time, he could be a great fighter.”