- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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VERONA, N.Y. -- Highly touted welterweight Thomas Dulorme stepped up in competition Saturday night, but came up short.
Dulorme suffered his first professional loss when hard-hitting veteran Luis Carlos Abregu registered a TKO in the seventh round at Turning Stone resort and Casino.
"My corner decided to stop the fight and I respect the decision," Dulorme said. "They were looking out for me."
This was to be Dulorme's coming-out party. He entered the ring with a 16-0 record, but the knock on him was that he had not faced strong enough opposition.
Few welterweights can claim to be tougher than Abregu, who improved to 34-1 with 28 knockouts.
Despite finishing Dulorme, Abregu isn't ready to count him out.
"He's too young, maybe with time he could be a great fighter," Abregu said.
After a strong first two rounds, Dulorme was dropped in the third round by a right hand.
He bounced back in the fourth by utilizing a sharp right and stiff left jab. But as the rounds wore on, Dulorme's speed advantage began to wane. That's when Abregu began closing the gap.
"I was controlling the fight but he caught me with a good punch," Dulorme said.