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.
Russian junior welterweight prospect Ruslan Provodnikov corrected his career’s trajectory by stopping unbeaten Chicagoan Ivan Popoca in the 8th round of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at Pechanga in Southern California.
Provodnikov (19-1, 13 KOs) hurt the Mexican-born Popoca (15-1-1, 10 KOs) in the fifth round and pounced with a series of heavy blows, sensing an opportunty to end the fight early. Popoca showed some craftiness in surviving the round and even responded to win the sixth as Russian appeared spent. But Provodnikov rallied and landed a heavy right for the knockdown in the 8th followed by a pair of vicious hooks that prompted the ref to step in.
After the fight Ruslan said through his interpreter that he viewed the bout as a make or break event for his career after losing a close decision to Mauricio Herrera in January (check out our breakdown here). He credited new trainer Buddy McGirt with providing valuable correction to his previously lacking technique and appears once again on track to take part in a series of TV fights thanks to his fan-friendly fighting style.