On Saturday night in Verona, NY, Thomas Dulorme made the mistake of circling blindly behind his jab and onto Luis Abregu's right hand -if an orthodox fighter is going to circle counter clockwise against another orthodox fighter they have to be weary of their opponent’s trailing hand and vice versa. Ironically, in my latest piece about Ray Robinson, which will run shortly, I actually explain the reasons as to why Ray was so successful in circling behind his jab. Robinson's head, slightly off to the right, was always off the centre line and his right hand was always by his head and in position to block a right hand. As Robinson circled, his stance was set up so that his chin was almost hidden behind his left shoulder as he jabbed. If a right hand got beyond his shoulder, his right hand was his second line of defense.
Dulorme's stance was set up all wrong for circling behind the jab against a big right handed puncher. Firstly, because he was leaning forward with his weight over on his front foot, Dulorme's movement was compromised. Secondly, Dulorme’s shoulders were almost parallel to his feet, leaving himself an easy target for a right hand after or as he jabbed. If Dulorme was standing side on to Abregu -think of Thomas Hearns’s body alignment as he was jabbing against Pipino Cuevas- then he would have been far tougher to find with a right hand. And lastly, Dulorme offered no head movement in between punching or as he punched. Abregu knew that Dulorme's head would always be in the same place and as a result, had a constant target to aim at.
After being tagged repeatedly, Dulorme made a decision to turn southpaw in attempt to nullify Abregu's right hand. In doing so, he should have reversed his movement by circling counter clockwise behind his right jab and away from Abregu's right hand. Needless to say, he didn't do this. Instead, he continued to move to Abregu's right and into Abregu's trailing hand. A southpaw is more vulnerable to an orthodox opponent's right hand anyway, so I’m not entirely sure what he was thinking.
Dulorme made some terrible tactical decisions in the fight and Abregu took full advantage of them.
No disrespect to Thomas Dulorme, but I love to see a fighter, who isn’t nearly as athletic or as fast as his more naturally gifted opponent, take full advantage of any shortcomings in the technique department. Luis Abregu isn't a spectacular fighter by any means, but he's got the fundamentals down solid. Technique will always trump athleticism in the end. Thomas Dulorme learned this the hard way Saturday, on HBO Boxing After Dark.
Let’s not get carried away though. It clearly isn’t the end for Dulorme just yet, who can't really be considered to have a poor chin because Abregu is a known puncher. However, he must iron out some of those technical flaws if he's to be successful at the highest level because, as Abregu illustrated perfectly, even C level fighters will take advantage of them.