By: William Holmes
On Saturday night, HBO World Championship Boxing will televise a split-site doubleheader as junior welterweights Ruslan Provodnikov meets Lucas Matthysse in Verona, New York while Terrence Crawford faces Thomas Dulorme in Arlington, Texas for the vacant WBO junior welterweight title.
It appears logical that the winner of Provodnikov and Matthysse will meet the winner of Crawford and Dulorme in the near future since there is nothing prohibiting any of the boxers from competing on HBO and the promoters involved in these two matchups appear to have a working relationship with each other.
Both cards feature quality fighters on the untelevised undercards, as Eddie Gomez and Vitaly Kopylenko will be fighting in Verona, while Diego Magdaleno fights in Texas. However, the 2014 BWAA Boxer of the year, Terence Crawford, will be fighting in the main event in Texas and he appears to have the highest ceiling of the four competing junior welterweights.
The following is a preview of the WBO Junior Welterweight title bout.
Terence Crawford (25-0, 17 kos) vs. Thomas Dulorme (22-1, 14 Kos); WBO Junior Welterweight Title
Both Crawford and Dulorme are in their athletic primes and are considered by many to be two young boxers with very high level ceilings. Crawford is two years older than Dulorme at the age of twenty-seven, but Dulorme will have a slight two-inch height advantage. They have a similar reach.
Dulorme is trained by Robert Garcia and is one of the top stars of Gary Shaw Productions. He had a successful amateur career and won Golden Gloves tournaments in the Dominican Republic as well as Puerto Rico.
Crawford also had a very successful amateur career and won several tournaments in the United States. He was a National PAL Champion in 2006 as well as a gold medalist in the 2007 U.S. Pan American Games Box Offs.
This will be Crawford’s first fight in the junior welterweight division, but he was clearly the best lightweight in the world and will be following the footsteps of several other notable former lightweight champions who had taken the step up in weight class to increase their profiles.
Crawford has defeated the likes of Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, Andrey Klimov, and Breidis Prescott. He only has two stoppages in his past five fights, but nobody has yet to seriously challenge Crawford, and he has yet to be in a close fight where he was in danger of losing.
Dulorme is more comfortable at junior welterweight and has fought at this class or higher for his entire career.
Dulorme’s lone loss came in 2012 to Luis Carlos Abregu in a fight that saw Dulorme knocked down twice and fade badly late. Dulorme’s corner had to throw in the towel in a fight that many expected him to win.
However, Dulorme has six straight wins since that tough defeat over the likes of Henry Lundy, Karim Mayfield, Francisco Figueroa, and DeMarcus Corley.
Dulorme barely beat Lundy in his most recent fight, and faded late, despite scoring a first round knockdown. Crawford is a boxer who tends to heat up as the fight goes on and has shown that he can finish fights strongly.
The longer the fight goes on, the better the chances are of Crawford winning the bout, and it seems unlikely that Dulorme will be able to pull an upset victory.