Thomas Dulorme's power gives him shot at boxing stardom

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports

Boxers who can punch often take the easy way out. They skip a run here or there, or don't work as assiduously on their weaknesses in the gym.

The crushing power in their hands allows them to take shortcuts and still dominate mid- and lower-level opposition.

There are, however, no shortcuts against the elite-level fighters. When two of the top fighters in the world meet, rarely does the bout end in knockouts.

Thomas Dulorme has that kind of freaky power that has brought him to brink of stardom. But to Dulorme, his HBO debut on Saturday in Verona, N.Y., against Luis Carlos Abregu, is not the end of the road but rather the beginning.

Dulorme has the kind of power that allows him to dream big. Dulorme, though, is the type who takes nothing for granted. And so he's been almost fanatic in training, preparing for a fight that could shoot him into the upper echelons of boxing's welterweight division.

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There are big names and big money to be had in and around that weight, but trainer Jose Bonilla insists that Dulorme fully understands that none of it matters if he doesn't perform against Abregu.

"One of the things about this kid is that he is willing to work, and put the time in," Bonilla said. "He wants to learn. He doesn't just come in, do what he has to do and leave. He's all boxing all the time and you can see the progression in him, not only fight to fight but even week to week and day to day."

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Dulorme's penchant for preparing for any eventuality extends to his personal life. He's already got a drafting degree and he's working on getting one in civil engineering.

He's done plenty of construction work in his day, and that manual labor is undoubtedly part of the reason he's so well-conditioned. But Dulorme is seeking an education because he's looking long-term.

His goal is to attain a skill so that he doesn't have to be in the pits all day every day for the rest of his life.

"I want to try to avoid having to work with my bare hands all the time," he said. "I'll do the planning and let someone else do the construction."

Boxing, he knows, isn't going to last forever. The simple fact he understands that at age 22 and is already preparing for life after his fight career is over is partially why so many are so high on his future as a fighter.

A Puerto Rican, Dulorme has evoked comparisons to current superstar Miguel Cotto and the greatest Puerto Rican star of them all, Felix Trinidad.

He's got a little of each of them in him, but on Saturday, in his first effort on boxing's big stage, he hopes not to emulate someone else but to blaze his own path.

"I want to fight all the big fights and be the kind of fighter I know I'm capable of being," he said. "But you have to do that one [fight] at a time. You have to put in the time and dedicate yourself to this sport. That's the only time good things will happen, so I know what needs to be done."

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