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Friday, July 19, 2013
Dulorme search ends with Figueroa

By Dan Rafael

The hunt for an opponent for welterweight prospect Thomas Dulorme was long and arduous, and it has ended with southpaw Frankie Figueroa.

After weeks in which Dulorme's team and HBO ran through numerous names, Dulorme will face Figueroa on Aug. 17 at the Revel Casino-Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. The fight will land on the undercard of middleweight titlist Daniel Geale's defense against Darren Barker.

While Geale-Barker and junior featherweight Jonathan "Momo" Romero's defense against Kiko Martinez will air live on HBO, Dulorme-Figueroa will air later that night on tape delay on HBO Latino in Spanish as part of the network's initiative to highlight some of boxing's up-and-coming Hispanic fighters.

Dulorme (18-1, 13 KOs), 23, of Puerto Rico, was on everyone's short list of top prospects until he was stopped in the seventh round by Luis Carlos Abregu in October. But he was rushed into that fight. Dulorme wasn't ready for somebody the caliber of Abregu, and he paid the price.

He has won both of his fights since, a first-round knockout of Eddie Brooks followed by an eight-round decision against Ben Ankrah in April.

Dulorme was originally supposed to fight former lightweight titlist Paul Spadafora, who has been at junior welterweight in recent years, on Aug. 17, but Spadafora ultimately pulled out of the fight. Then came the endless list of other possibilities, including Nick Casal, Vernon Paris and Ricardo Williams Jr., to name a few. But for a variety of reasons, none of them worked out.

New York's Figueroa (20-5-1), a 35-year-old who is originally from Puerto Rico, has been stopped only once, and that was by huge puncher Randall Bailey in 2009. But including that fight, Figueroa is 0-3-1 in his past four fights. He also didn't fight in 2010 or 2011 before returning in 2012 and losing twice. At least he is durable and ought to provide Dulorme with some rounds.