Thomas Dulorme, the hyped 21-year-old Puerto Rican welterweight prospect, will headline the February 17 edition of ShoBox: The New Generation, live from the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif.
Dulorme (13-0, 10 KO) has started to make a bit of a name for himself in the prospect ranks with wins in 2011 over veterans Harrison Cuello (which was a brutal knockout), DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley (who upset Gabriel Bracero this past weekend), and Charlie Jose Navarro, a former world title challenger, albeit not a very good one.
But his hyped knockout power hasn't been there for his last two bouts with Corley and Navarro, and he was even a bit disappointing against Corley, a crafty veteran who can drag a fight out endlessly if he so desires.
Dulorme will be facing 27-year-old Mexican Jose Reynoso (15-3-1, 2 KO) in a fight that appears clearly designed to make Dulorme look good. Reynoso can't punch and his best win is over either Aris Ambriz, a guy he fought twice (one win, one draw), or the corpse of Santos Pakau, who hasn't won a fight since 2005.
In a 10-round junior middleweight bout, Jonathan Gonzalez (14-0, 13 KO) will face veteran Billy Lyell (24-10, 5 KO) of Youngstown, Ohio. Lyell, 27, is a known commodity, and the right sort of step for Gonzalez, 22. Lyell has gone the distance with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Vanes Martirosyan, went eight with James Kirkland in 2007, and lost his last fight in Germany to Dominik Britsch.
Gonzalez had his last fight on ShoBox, too, beating Richard Gutierrez in June. The one advantage Lyell may have over Gutierrez is that Gutierrez has looked totally disinterested and washed-up in his last few fights, and Lyell still comes to win.
The eight-round TV opener will be a middleweight fight between Michael Oliveria of Brazil and Colombia's Milton Nunez. Oliveira (16-0, 12 KO) made his ShoBox debut with a lot of PR hype out of Brazil, and put on a decent action fight with overmatched Xavier Toliver on November 11, winning via DQ in the eighth round when Toliver hit on the break. It had long since became Oliveira's fight and while the refereeing wasn't what you would call good, in the end it didn't much matter. Toliver's corner should have stopped the fight by then anyway.
I said then that Oliveira reminded me a lot of John Duddy, and I'll stand by that comparison.
Nunez (23-3-1, 21 KO) has a Colombian record with lots of nobodies in his win column, and has been knocked out in the first round three times. He's only once gone over four rounds, which was an eight-round draw against a guy who was 2-9 back in 2008. Hilariously, the WBA allowed Nunez to fight Gennady Golovkin for the interim WBA middleweight belt in 2010. Guess what happened? Golovkin knocked him out in 58 seconds.
On paper, these are all pure showcase fights and not totally in the spirit of the ShoBox series, which vows to put on competitive fights between young fighters. What you've really got here is more a weak Friday Night Fights lineup.