NEW YORK (Feb. 9, 2012) – Aris Ambriz (16-2-1, 8 KOs) of Azusa, Calif., will replace the injured Jose Reynoso and face unbeaten Thomas Dulorme (13-0, 10 KOs), of Carolina, Puerto Rico, for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) welterweight title in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation next Friday, Feb. 17, live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
The co-feature at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., remains in tact: power-punching Puerto Rican, Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (14-0, 13 KOs), of San Juan, versus Billy Lyell (24-10-2, 5 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, in a 10-round junior middleweight match.
Ambriz, 26, accepted the fight Thursday after Reynoso withdrew with a hip injury. Like Dulorme, Ambriz will be making his ShoBox and 2012 debut in a bout with a contracted weight limit of 143 pounds. Unlike Dulorme, this will be his first scheduled 10-round fight. Ambriz turned professional in June 2007.
A winner in three of his last four starts, Ambriz won a six-round decision over Juan Santiago in his most recent outing last June 25. He lost to undefeated Canadian rising star Pier-Olivier Cote two fights ago, but upset hot prospect Hector Serrano on a unanimous eight-round decision in his effort before that on Feb. 24, 2011.
Ambriz twice fought the fighter he’s replacing, Reynoso, in exciting scraps in 2010, boxing an eight-round draw in January and coming up on the wrong end of an eight-round majority decision the following June.
Despite having only 13 fights, Dulorme (pronounced Do-Lore-May) is already ranked in the top 10 by both the World Boxing Association (No. 3) and World Boxing Council (No. 8) at welterweight. Some consider the charismatic youngster a superstar in the making.
A hard-hitting sort who also can box, the highly regarded Dulorme has been spectacular and explosive enough to warrant the lofty praise.
“I’m always looking to fight the best guys available and I’m expecting a good fight,’’ the crowd-pleasing Dulorme said. “Ambriz is certainly a worthy opponent but my training camp has been spectacular and this will be a great fight.
“Fighting for the first time in 2012, I want to come out with a bang and show the audience on ShoBox that I’m the real deal. Capturing the NABF title will get me one step closer to my dream of becoming a world champion.”
Since turning pro after a terrific amateur career that included winning a Golden Gloves championship, the 5-foot-9 ½-inch Dulorme, who turns 22 on Jan. 29, has campaigned in three weight classes: welterweight, junior welterweight (140 pounds) and lightweight (135 pounds).
Dulorme won a four-round majority decision in his pro debut on Aug. 13, 2008. His next 10 fights ended by knockout -- two in the first round, eight in the second. He’s been victorious in his last two starts via lopsided decision, a 10-round triumph over former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley on June 10, 2011, and a nine-round win over world title challenger Charlie Navarro the following Oct. 22.
In the co-featured bout, Gonzalez, who’s ranked by three of the four major boxing organizations, is 14 fights into a career that began in January 2009. A former amateur standout and a 2008 Olympic representative for Puerto Rico, he’s rated No. 7 in both the WBC and World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 12 in the WBA.
This will be Gonzalez’ second consecutive start on ShoBox. In his debut and most recent outing last June 11, he recorded a unanimous 10-round decision over Richard Gutierrez. It was the first time the 5-foot-11, 22-year old Gonzalez had gone the distance since he went pro. None of his previous 12 outings had lasted more than seven rounds. Eleven of the KO wins came within three sessions.
Lyell is a durable, hard-luck 27-year-old who doesn’t seem to get the benefit of the doubt in tough fights against favored fighters on the road.
In his last bout, the 5-foot-9 Lyell lost a majority 10-round decision to local favorite Dominik Britsch (25-0 going in) on Oct. 22 in Germany. On Jan. 29, 2011, he came up on the wrong end of a close 10-round decision to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (41-0-1 going in) in Mexico.
One fight that went Lyell’s way: He scored a shocking split 10-round decision over previously undefeated John Duddy on April 24, 2009.
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Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV