Jaron Ennis needs a new opponent for his upcoming fight.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Thomas Dulorme, who was scheduled to encounter Ennis on December 19 in Uncasville, Connecticut, failed another COVID-19 test administered Monday. Dulorme had hoped that his failed test Thursday was a false positive because he is asymptomatic.
Had the Puerto Rican veteran tested negative Monday, he would’ve wanted to remain in a 10-round welterweight fight Showtime was supposed to televise two weeks from Saturday night from Mohegan Sun Arena.
Chris van Heerden is among the potential opponents who could replace Dulorme on short notice. South Africa’s van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KOs) has won five straight fights since Errol Spence Jr. stopped him in the eighth round five years ago in Toronto.
Steve Kim was the first to report on Twitter that van Heerden is under consideration to face Ennis.
The 30-year-old Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KOs) lost a 12-round unanimous decision to WBA interim welterweight champ Jamal James in his last bout, August 8 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Dulorme would’ve been the best opponent of Ennis’ career, however, had they moved forward with their 10-round, 147-pound bout. Dulorme has lost unanimous decisions to James (27-1, 12 KOs) and WBA world welterweight champ Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) and by technical knockout to three-division champ Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) and Luis Carlos Abregu (36-3, 29 KOs).
The 23-year-old Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs) most recently stopped the Dominican Republic’s Juan Carlos Abregu (23-6-1, 21 KOs, 1 NC) in the sixth round of their scheduled 10-rounder September 19 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Abregu had not been knocked out before he faced Ennis, who has won 16 straight fights inside the distance.
Dulorme’s predicament marked the second instance in which Showtime’s December 19 telecast has been impacted by COVID-19. Emmanuel Rodriguez replaced Nordine Oubaali as Nonito Donaire’s opponent in the 12-round main event three weeks ago because France’s Oubaali contracted COVID-19 and had to temporarily stop training.
Las Vegas’ Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Oubaali’s WBC 118-pound championship, and Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) will fight for the WBC bantamweight title. The WBC has designated Oubaali as its bantamweight champion in recess.
Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs) can either face the Donaire-Rodriguez winner next or make a voluntary title defense by sometime in February. If Oubaali makes an optional defense next, he’d have to fight the Donaire-Rodriguez victor in his following fight.
Donaire is the WBC’s number one-ranked bantamweight contender. Rodriguez is ranked fourth.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.