Photos by Carlos Baeza for Thompson Boxing
by Gautham Nagesh
Argentine welterweight contender Carlos Abregu halted the meteoric rise of top prospect Thomas Dulorme on Saturday night, stopping the unbeaten Puerto Rican in Round 7 of a scheduled 10 at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. The upset was the highlight of an otherwise lackluster triple-header from HBO’s Boxing After Dark.
Dulorme has long been viewed as one of the brightest prospects in the sport, though we remained unconvinced. So was Abregu, whose team recognized Dulorme’s tendency to drop his left hand and devised a plan to test the 22-year-old’s chin. Dulorme came out looking as fluid as ever, pumping his jab and keeping the veteran outside. But Abregu brought a crashing right hand over that jab in the 3rd round, hurting Dulorme badly for the first time in his career.
Dulorme was forced backward, where a combination punctuated by a punch to his shoulder sent him crashing to the mat. He rose, clearly hurt, but gamely tried to stand and fight. It was the wrong move. Abregu kept pressuring, firing to the head and body, before a vicious lead right snapped Dulorme’s chin like a turnstile. Dulorme tried to hold but Abregu stepped back, and the Puerto Rican fell to the mat. The referee judged it a slip, a detail rendered meaningless later in the fight. But Dulorme was up one point on all three cards at the time of the stoppage, showing that decision might have made the difference had the fight gone the distance.
Dulorme came back gamely in the middle rounds, but had no defense for the overhand right. He switched to southpaw for a spell and had success, but inexplicably turned back orthodox before the 7th. That round saw Abregu return to the right hand, landing several clean shots before a lead right hurt Dulorme again. Thomas retreated but Abregu pounced, unleashing a number of punches including a heavy left hook that plastered Dulorme to the canvas. Thomas rose quickly and appeared able to continue, but his corner stepped up to stop the fight.
It was the right move. The promising youngster was clearly in over his head against Abregu, and had no defense for the right hand. Dulorme’s promise remains the same, though the road looks to be a little longer, and his chin will be a constant question going forward. But his loss didn’t exactly come against a bum. Abregu has one loss, to Tim Bradley in 2010, and he wants revenge. That fight would make a great main event for December 15th in Miami, if it can be put together in time.
San Francisco junior welterweight prospect Karim Mayfield won a solid decision over staff favorite Mauricio Herrera in the co-feature, winning by scores of 96-94, 98-92, and 97-93. Both men were able to land power shots at will, but Mayfield’s were crisper and had greater pop. Mayfield’s lack of boxing experience was evident, but so was the obvious talent that could make him a top contender in the near future.
Herrera is a very tough customer, having fought wars with the likes of Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov. Mayfield has plenty of power, but lacks the skills of prospects with more extensive amateur careers. Their 10-round meeting was awkward at first, full of clenching and smothering until Mayfield got on track in the third round. He landed a number of strong power shots, and continued that trend into the 4th. Mayfield is naturally heavy-handed, but his defense is sorely lacking. Herrera filled some of those gaps, but lacked the power to make Mayfield pay for his lapses.
Both men began teeing off in the 5th, with Herrera’s chin matching Mayfield’s punch. Karim began putting his punches together, but still looked awkward and off-balance at times. Mayfield’s strength and athleticism helped him push Herrera around the ring, but Mauricio never stopped firing back with the left hook and right to the body. Herrera is the definition of game; his heart and courage have kept him in fights he should have lost badly on paper. He won the 6th on sheer determination, but Mayfield was back landing hard right hands in the 7th.
Mayfield continued landing hard rights in the 8th round, but Herrera kept coming despite eating a number of shots to the side of his head. One wonders if any fighter at 140 is capable of stopping Herrera, who barely flinched in the face of Mayfield’s best punches. The fighters continued to brawl in the 9th, with Herrera refusing to be deterred. Herrera will never lack for work, because he always comes to fight and tries to win. That spirit, combined with his endurance, makes him a safe bet for a televised card.
Mayfield impressed me with his talent, even if the defensive deficiencies are worrying. While he did enough against Herrera to move up in opposition, he would be better served by a couple more fights at the same level. He needs rounds, and time in the gym to work on his defense. Moving up to fight the likes of Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios would raise the threat level considerably; Mayfield’s best bet is to avoid fellow punchers for the present.
Miguel Vazquez successfully defended his lightweight strap for the fourth time in the televised opener, winning a tedious split decision over Marvin Quintero. Quintero came out cautiously and somehow avoided scoring a single punch in the first round, according to Compubox. That set the table for the rest of the fight, which saw both men stay outside and wait for the other to take the lead so they could counter. The result was a lot of waiting, some sporadic action, and a lot of circling and movement from Vazquez.
The official scorecards read 115-113 Quintero, 116-112 Vazquez, and 118-110 Vazquez. The last was a bit unfair, but Vazquez appeared to have control of what little action took place.Vazquez fights smart, but with little regard for entertainment value. This win will do little to enhance his reputation, and we can’t see him troubling the winner of Adrien Broner-Antonio Demarco. The winner of that fight will be in pole position in the lightweight division; Broner in particular is viewed as one of boxing’s next great stars, making him the top target for anyone around 135 lbs.