Dan Rafael: Luis Carlos Abregu

Dulorme fits in at Garcia's gym

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
Junior welterweight prospect Thomas Dulorme is in his first training camp with new trainer Robert Garcia at his gym in Oxnard, Calif., and so far, so good, according to Dulorme.

"I've been here training with Robert Garcia in Oxnard for the last eight weeks,” Dulorme said. “He's a tremendous coach and I'm learning a lot about myself and what I need to improve on. There is always room for growth and Garcia is bringing the best out of me. I've been getting great sparring and I'll be 100 percent ready for [Karim] Mayfield's awkward style."

Puerto Rico’s Dulorme (20-1, 14 KOs) faces Mayfield (18-0-1, 11 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round fight on March 29 (HBO) at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The fight will be the televised co-feature on the card headlined by light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) making his second defense against Cedric Agnew (26-0, 13 KOs).

The 24-year-old Dulorme said the sparring he is getting in Garcia’s camp is the best of his career, although he didn’t say specifically who he is working with -- although there is a lot of talent at Garcia’s gym.

"I don't want to give up the names of my sparring partners but everyone that Garcia has me sparring have excellent professional records and all of them are giving me great work,” Dulorme said. “There are a couple of Russian fighters along with a few Olympians in camp with me. During this camp there is no room to make mistakes or else you will pay for them. These are the best sparring partners I've had for any camp in my pro career."

The winner of Dulorme-Mayfield is one of the candidates to get a title shot against Ruslan Provodnikov on June 14.

Dulorme remains a quality prospect even after getting knocked out in the seventh round when he was moved a bit too quickly into a fight with Luis Carlos Abregu in October 2012. Dulorme has won four fights in a row since the defeat.

He is confident of adding Mayfield, 33, of San Francisco, to his win column. Among Mayfield’s victories is a 2012 decision against Mauricio Herrera, who many believe deserved the decision in his world title fight with Danny Garcia on Saturday night in Puerto Rico.

"Mayfield is a great fighter but he's never faced the type of punches that I'll be throwing at him,” Dulorme said. “I possess speed and power unlike any of Mayfield's past opponents. His awkward style will not be a problem. He also has physical disadvantages that I will exploit. I know he thinks he's unbeatable but I will prove him wrong."

Abregu set to return from injury

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
Luis Carlos AbreguAP Photo/Alex MenendezArgentina's Luis Carlos Abregu, right, will make his return on April 4 from a right hand injury.
Welterweight Luis Carlos Abregu of Argentina, out of action since last April because of a right hand injury, is finally set to return to the ring.

He will fight in his hometown of Salta when he faces Jean Carlos Prada (30-0-1, 21 KOs), 29, of the Dominican Republic on April 4, Abregu's agent Sean Gibbons told ESPN.com.

Abregu (35-1, 28 KOs), 30, whose only loss was by decision to Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2010, has won six fights in a row since, including impressive performances in his last two bouts.

In October 2012, he stopped hot prospect Thomas Dulorme in the seventh round on the big HBO stage and then,
fighting on middleweight champ Sergio Martinez's undercard last April in Argentina, outpointed Canadian contender Antonin Decarie.

Gibbons said Abregu initially hurt his right hand against Bradley and then re-injured it against Dulorme. If Abregu can stay healthy, a title shot could come sooner than later.

Dulorme-Mayfield in works

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18
The deal is not done yet but a fight between junior welterweights Thomas Dulorme and Karim Mayfield is in the works for HBO’s March 29 “Boxing After Dark” telecast from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., according to the promoters for both boxers.

If the bout is finalized -- and Gary Shaw, Dulorme’s promoter, and Top Rank, which represents Mayfield, are working on it -- it would open the telecast headlined by light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) making his second defense against Cedric Agnew (26-0, 13 KOs).

The card belongs to Main Events’ Kathy Duva, Kovalev’s promoter, so getting a fight involving Shaw on it was difficult. But HBO, which wanted this specific match, basically gave her no choice but to accept the fight. Shaw once was the chief operating officer of Main Events before a falling out with Duva, after which he left the company and started his own promotional outfit.

Dulorme (20-1, 14 KOs), 24, of Puerto Rico, remains a quality prospect even after getting knocked out in the seventh round when he was overmatched with Luis Carlos Abregu on HBO in October 2012. Dulorme has won four fights in a row since and this would be his first bout since his recent hiring of trainer Robert Garcia.

Mayfield (18-0-1, 11 KOs), 33, of San Francisco, has been fairly inactive, fighting only once in 2013. But in the fight before that (in October 2012), he outpointed Mauricio Herrera, who is getting a shot at junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia on March 15.

Dulorme makes another change

February, 11, 2014
Feb 11
Last week welterweight prospect Thomas Dulorme of Puerto Rico announced he had left longtime trainer Jose Bonilla to join the stable of Robert Garcia in Oxnard, Calif.

On Tuesday, Dulorme (20-1, 14 KOs) announced that he has further changed his team, buying out two of the three promoters who owned stakes in his promotional contract.

Gone are Lou DiBella and Javier Bustillo of Universal Promotions, who had signed Dulorme along with Gary Shaw in 2012. Shaw will remain as Dulorme’s promoter.

"I bought the parts of my contract that belonged to Lou DiBella and Javier Bustillo, but Gary Shaw stays in,” Dulorme said. “I felt that lately those businesses were not going well and I had to do something about it. But this is nothing personal against DiBella and Bustillo because they have been very important in my career and I learned a lot from them. But, still, this is just plain business.

Shaw told ESPN.com he is aiming for the 24-year-old Dulorme to return to action in April.

Dulorme was as a red-hot prospect until he was overmatched against the more experienced and stronger Luis Carlos Abregu, who knocked him out in the seventh round in October 2012. Dulorme has won four fights in a row since.

Dulorme adds Garcia as trainer

February, 7, 2014
Feb 7
Thomas Dulorme, Robert GarciaCourtesy Team DulormeRobert Garcia, right, who trains several top fighters, is regarded as one of the best in the business.
Welterweight prospect Thomas Dulorme of Puerto Rico has made a big change to his team, leaving longtime trainer Jose Bonilla to train with Robert Garcia at his gym in Oxnard, Calif.

Dulorme (20-1, 14 KOs), 24, was as hot as any prospect in boxing until he ran into Luis Carlos Abregu and got knocked out in the seventh round in October 2012. Dulorme was simply not ready for that level of fight yet.

Since then, Dulorme has been moved slowly but won four fights in a row and now has made the trainer change.

"I needed to see a change in my workouts, learn new things, but I want to make clear that my former trainer, Jose Bonilla, will always be a part of my team because I am very grateful for what he has done for me in my career, as a trainer and currently as a manager,” Dulorme said.

Bonilla co-manages Dulorme along with Enrique Roman. “Garcia has an extensive world-class experience. I'll be grabbing like a sponge all of his knowledge. And let me not forget about the great quality sparring partners that are here [in Oxnard].”

Garcia trains several top fighters, including welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana, junior lightweight titlist (and his brother) Mikey Garcia, 2012 fighter of the year Nonito Donaire, featherweight titlist Evgeny Gradovich and former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios.

Dulorme, who last fought Nov. 30, said co-promoter Gary Shaw told him he would probably next fight in April.

"I just want the bell to ring so I can bring another victory to my people of Puerto Rico that are in my heart, even though I'm here in California,” Dulorme said.

Abregu has surgery on right hand

August, 27, 2013
Welterweight contender Luis Carlos Abregu, who was under consideration for one of the televised slots on the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios HBO PPV card on Nov. 23 in Macau, China, will instead be resting his injured right hand.

Abregu, 29, of Argentina, will be out of action for the rest of the year after recent surgery on the damaged hand, his matchmaker, Sean Gibbons, told ESPN.com.

“His hand has been bothering him, so he had surgery and is out for the year,” Gibbons said.

Abregu's manager, Pablo Martinez, said the fighter should be ready to go in January, according to Gibbons.

Abregu, whose only loss was by decision to Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2010, scored a seventh-round knockout of top prospect Thomas Dulorme in October.

Abregu (35-1, 28 KOs) injured his hand in his next fight, a 10-round decision against Antonin Decarie on April 27 in Argentina on the undercard of middleweight champion Sergio Martinez’s homecoming fight against Martin Murray.

“That hand has been bothering him since the fight with [Decarie] in April,” Gibbons said.

Dulorme regroups despite setback

August, 16, 2013
Thomas Dulorme, Carlos AbeguCourtesy of HBOAfter losing to Luis Carlos Abregu, right, in October, Thomas Dulorme is trying to get back on track.
There is no doubt that welterweight Thomas Dulorme took a big step backward when Luis Carlos Abregu knocked him out in the seventh round in October.

At the time, Dulorme was a red-hot prospect. He had been scoring big knockouts and had the attention of the media and HBO, which put on the Abregu fight and was super interested in him.

Since the loss, Dulorme and his team have regrouped, and he is being moved a bit slower. At 23, there is no hurry. He needs to be developed properly and not rushed into a fight he isn’t ready for, which is what happened with Abregu.

Since the loss, Dulorme (18-1, 13 KOs) has won both of his fights against modest opposition, a first-round knockout of Eddie Brooks in Puerto Rico, where Dulorme lives, followed by an eight-round decision against Ben Ankrah in April.

Dulorme’s rebuilding will continue against New York’s Frankie Figueroa (20-5-1, 13 KOs) on Saturday night at the Revel Casino-Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J., on the undercard of Daniel Geale’s middleweight title defense against Darren Barker.

While Geale-Barker will air live on HBO along with the junior featherweight title bout between Jonathan Romero and Kiko Martinez, Dulorme-Figueroa will be taped and air on HBO Latino immediately following the conclusion of Geale-Barker, at approximately 12:30 a.m. ET.

"I'm just excited to get back into the ring,” Dulorme said. “Staying busy keeps me focused and motivated. My head is never clearer than when I am preparing for a fight. It takes a toll on most fighters, but I'm centered and very relaxed. I owe the fight game a lot, and I am doing this for my fans, the people who believe in me. I want to show my supporters that their belief in me is based on actual ability, and when I am on top, I will share that moment with those who stuck by me, especially my promoters Gary Shaw, Javier Bustillo and Lou DiBella.”

Even with the setback against Abregu, Dulorme said he believes he can still win a world title.

“If you're not in the sport to become champion, then what's the point? I have every intention on winning a title one day, and I know that it is a real goal, one that I have control of accomplishing,” he said. “I have a strong support group and plenty of people in my corner that believe in me, but from this point on, I must make believers out of everyone else. Come fight night, I will make believers out of anyone who may still have doubts.”

Shaw said he believes Dulorme can regain the form that made him such a dynamic prospect.

“Thomas is a young fighter and young guys are always finding themselves, but he is special because he is so far ahead of his age group,” Shaw said. “The maturity level he displayed after his setback was tremendously inspiring. He will challenge for a world title, and he has the potential to be one of the best fighters in the division period.”

Dulorme search ends with Figueroa

July, 19, 2013
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.

Romero to defend belt on Aug. 17

July, 5, 2013
Junior featherweight titlist Jonathan Romero (23-0, 12 KOs) of Colombia, who outpointed Alejandro Lopez in February to win a 122-pound belt that Nonito Donaire vacated, will make his first defense Aug. 17 (HBO) at the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. The opponent isn't set, but the leading candidate is Spain's Kiko Martinez (28-4, 20 KOs), a former European champion who is promoted by middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.

Whomever Romero faces, the fight will be the co-feature on the card headlined by middleweight titlist Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) of Australia, who will be making his American debut in a defense against England's Darren Barker (25-1, 16 KOs), whose only loss came by 11th-round knockout against Martinez in a 2011 championship fight in Atlantic City.

Welterweight prospect Thomas Dulorme (18-1, 13 KOs) of Puerto Rico will also be on the card, and his bout will be televised on HBO Latino. Dulorme was being lined up to face former lightweight titlist Paul Spadafora (48-0-1, 19 KOs), who has been fighting at junior welterweight and welterweight for the past several years. However, according to HBO, after going far down the road on a deal, Spadafora ultimately rejected the fight. Dulorme's team is still searching for an opponent.

• Assuming Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. gets his visa issues worked out and his planned fight with Brian Vera goes on as planned at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sept. 7, Top Rank and HBO are planning for Las Vegas welterweight Jesse Vargas (22-0, 9 KOs) to be in the televised co-feature. HBO and Top Rank want to match him with Luis Carlos Abregu (35-1, 28 KOs), but Vargas' team has so far balked at the match, according to Top Rank.

• Ryota Murata, the heralded 2012 Olympic middleweight gold medalist from Japan, will make his pro debut Aug. 25 in Tokyo. He'll face Akio Shibata (21-7-1, 9 KOs) in a scheduled six-rounder. Murata recently signed a co-promotional contract with Akihiko Honda's Teiken Boxing, the No. 1 promoter in Japan, and Top Rank, which will handle any of his bouts outside of Japan. Murata's gold medal was the first for a Japanese boxer in the Olympics since Takao Sakurai claimed one at the 1964 Tokyo Games. Murata is also the first Japanese fighter to win an Olympic medal in a division other than bantamweight or flyweight.

• Puerto Rican flyweight prospect Jonathan "Bomba" Gonzalez (13-0, 11 KOs) is stepping up his level of opposition in a major way. He will face former junior flyweight champion Giovani Segura (29-3-1, 25 KOs) of Mexico on Aug. 17 in a 10-rounder in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Promoter Peter Rivera said that the winner could face flyweight titlist Juan Francisco Estrada, who will first defend against Milan Melindo on July 27 (HBO2) in Macau, China.

"Segura beat two times our champion Ivan Calderon, and the fight is a fight that Bomba always has told us he wanted since he started his professional career," Rivera said.

• Middleweight titlist/knockout artist Gennady Golovkin is steadily building his name and audience. According to Nielsen, Golovkin's vicious third-round body-shot knockout of Matthew Macklin on Saturday drew 1.1 million viewers, the biggest audience of GGG's three HBO fights. It was a 35 percent increase over his January undercard fight against Gabriel Rosado, which drew 813,000 viewers -- a nice increase over his HBO debut last year against Grzegorz Proksa, which drew 685,000 viewers for a main event. What it means is that Golovkin is clearly gaining an audience with each successive fight.

• British lightweight contender Kevin Mitchell (33-2, 24 KOs), 28, was blown out in his most recent fight, getting stopped in the fourth round by titleholder Ricky Burns in September. Mitchell will return Saturday in London against Sebastien Benito (10-6, 3 KOs) of France for what should be a routine destruction. The scheduled 10-rounder is designed to get Mitchell back in the ring so that he can shake off some rust and move back in the direction of another title shot.

"It's a great division, and I want to get back up there," Mitchell said. "Where do I see myself in it? I want to be a world champion. I'm not here to mess around and play games, be second best and get stopped in four rounds. I'm in it for the long haul and I want to beat the top boys. Anthony Crolla just beat Gavin Rees [last Saturday], and they both interest me, and I'll be keeping a close eye on the Derry Mathews and Tommy Coyle fight next week. There are some big British dust-ups out there, and I love those fights as much as the fans and TV do. I want to correct the loss against Ricky for the world title and become a world champion. I've been out of the ring for too long and it's time to get back in there. I feel a lot of relief, really, as I feel like I've got something to work."

Dulorme, Abregu go separate ways

February, 15, 2013
Thomas Dulorme, Carlos AbeguCourtesy of HBOAfter losing to Luis Carlos Abregu, right, in October, Thomas Dulorme is trying to get back on track.
Thomas Dulorme, the hot welterweight prospect who suffered a ninth-round knockout in October when he stepped up in class to face Luis Carlos Abregu, now has an opponent for his comeback fight on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Dulorme (16-1, 12 KOs), who is moving down in weight, will face Eddie Brooks (9-3, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder at a contract weight of 143 pounds in the main event of promoter Lou DiBella's "Broadway Boxing" card at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan.

While Dulorme tries to get his career back on track, Argentina's Abregu (34-1, 28 KOs), 29, whose only loss was a decision to Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2010, also has his first fight since beating Dulorme in the works, and it's an interesting one.

A deal is being finalized for Abregu to face Montreal's Antonin Decarie (27-1, 8 KOs), 30, who turned in an excellent performance in his last fight in September, when he drilled Alex Perez in the sixth round.

Abregu and Decarie, who both scored their big wins on HBO, will be back on the network when they fight each other in the co-featured bout on the undercard of middleweight champion Sergio Martinez's title defense against Martin Murray on April 27 in Buenos Aires.

Dulorme on the comeback trail

February, 1, 2013
Thomas DulormeCal Sport Media/AP ImagesAfter his first setback, Thomas Dulorme will move back to junior welterweight for his Feb. 21 return.
Welterweight Thomas Dulorme of Puerto Rico was one of the hottest prospects in boxing when he headlined an October card against dangerous Luis Carlos Abregu, whose only loss had come a couple of years earlier to Timothy Bradley Jr.

The fight proved to be too much of a step up for Dulorme, who is just 23, and he was knocked down twice and eventually stopped in the seventh round when his corner threw in the towel.

Returning to junior welterweight, Dulorme will fight for the first time since the defeat when he headlines promoter Lou DiBella's "Broadway Boxing" card at the Roseland Ballroom in New York on Feb. 21.

Dulorme (16-1, 12 KOs), who will face an opponent to be determined in a scheduled eight-round bout, said moving down in weight was the right decision for him.

"I feel great for my upcoming fight and am excited about fighting in the junior welterweight division," Dulorme said. "I feel much stronger and faster at this weight and I cannot wait to return to action in my favorite state of New York.

"We learned a lot from the Abregu loss. After that fight, I didn't get down on myself or discouraged. We just went back to the drawing board and began working on and learning new things. I plan on staying in my new division for the time being, but I would love another crack at Abregu down the line, as I know that next time would be very different."

Also scheduled to be on the card is hot lightweight prospect Ivan Redkach (13-0, 11 KOs) and fringe welterweight contender Charlie Ota (21-1-1, 15 KOs).

Good fights dot TV schedule

October, 17, 2012
Lucian ButeAP PhotoLucian Bute returns to the ring after a disappointing defeat against Carl Froch in May.

A few fights here and there have been added to the upcoming TV schedule. Here's a look:

•  WealthTV announced that it has picked up the American rights to a pair of interesting fights. On Nov. 3, it will air live coverage of former super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute's comeback bout in Montreal against Denis Grachev. Bute will be fighting for the first time since Carl Froch knocked him out and took his title in May.

WealthTV also has the U.S. rights to the Nov. 17 flyweight unification fight between Brian Viloria and Hernan "Tyson" Marquez, which will take place at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. This is a fantastic matchup, a fight that deserved interest from premium cable networks HBO and Showtime.

It looks like WealthTV is diving into boxing in a big way. It has output deals with Canadian promoter Yvon Michel and British promoter Mick Hennessy but hasn't limited itself to their fights. Last weekend WealthTV provided live coverage to U.S. viewers of three international fights: Adonis Stevenson's 12th-round knockout of Donovan George in a super middleweight eliminator in Montreal (a Michel fight); heavyweight prospect David Price's first-round destruction of Audley Harrison in Liverpool, England (a Frank Maloney fight); and James DeGale's European super middleweight title defense against Hadilla Mohoumadi on another card in England (a Hennessy fight).

•  In addition to live coverage of heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko's Nov. 10 defense against Mariusz Wach from Hamburg, Epix's show will be a split-site doubleheader. In addition to the Klitschko fight, there will also be coverage of the return from injury of heavyweight contender Robert Helenius (17-0, 11 KOs). He will fight at home in Helsinki, Finland, likely against Finnish southpaw Jarno Rosberg (14-0, 4 KOs).

•  "Friday Night Fights" doesn't return to ESPN2 (and ESPN3) until January, but there will be a Thursday night boxing special from the Mirage in Las Vegas on Dec. 6 as part of the festivities surrounding Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV fight week. The card isn't set, but lightweight Raymundo Beltran (26-6, 17 KOs) is due to headline against an opponent to be determined. Beltran, who is one of Pacquiao's sparring partners, is coming off a July upset of Hank Lundy on FNF.

•  It's not a fight, but HBO announced its next installment of the "2 Days" documentary series. The 15-minute show will focus on heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell and debut Oct. 27 at 10 pm ET/PT. The show follows Mitchell in the 48 hours before his most recent fight, against Chazz Witherspoon. Mitchell will return to the ring on an HBO undercard on Nov. 17 against Johnathon Banks. The "2 Days" show precedes a live tripleheader from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y., featuring welterweight prospect Thomas Dulorme against Luis Carlos Abregu, junior welterweight Karim Mayfield against Mauricio Herrera and lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez in a mandatory defense against Marvin Quintero.