UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Thomas Dulorme expects Eimantas Stanionis to be aggressive and strong Saturday night.
That won’t be enough, according to Dulorme, for the Lithuanian welterweight prospect to remain unbeaten. Las Vegas’ Dulorme is the most experienced, proven opponent of Stanionis’ four-year pro career, a step up in competition that’ll determine Stanionis’ readiness to fight the best boxers in a loaded 147-pound division.
Showtime will televise their 12-round WBA elimination match as part of a three-bout broadcast from Mohegan Sun Arena (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).
“Stanionis is a very good fighter,” Dulorme told BoxingScene.com. “He looks like he’s really strong. I’m not gonna say anything bad about him as a fighter, but I just feel I’m better. He looks like he’s really good at fighting aggressively, moving forward. We’ll see if he can fight going backwards.”
The 31-year-old Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KOs) was supposed to fight Philadelphia’s Jaron Ennis on December 19 at Mohegan Sun Arena, but he contracted COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw from that 12-round bout late in November. The highly regarded Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs, 1 NC) is scheduled to box Kazakhstan’s Sergey Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs) in the 12-round main event Saturday night.
Dulorme had hoped to reschedule his fight with Ennis, but boxing the 26-year-old Stanionis (12-0, 9 KOs) also affords the Puerto Rican veteran an opportunity to knock off a young, unbeaten welterweight.
“I really wanted that fight with Ennis,” Dulorme said. “I really liked that fight because he’s a prospect that’s rising, that a lot of people are pushing because they think he’s gonna be really good. I wanted to go in the ring and show that he’s not at that level yet. I wanted to beat him and show that Ennis still has some work to do. But they’re pushing Stanionis like they’re pushing Ennis. It’s just that Stanionis is not quite at the same level as Ennis yet, but they’re still trying to push him to the top.”
Dulorme lost his last fight to Minneapolis’ Jamal James (27-1, 12 KOs), who defeated Dulorme by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for the WBA interim welterweight title August 8 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. He since has hired respected Cuban trainer Ismael Salas, who replaced another proven trainer, Joel Diaz, in Dulorme’s corner.
“Salas is a great trainer,” Dulorme said. “I’ve learned a lot with him. There’s a lot of chemistry there. I feel like it’s a really good fit. I don’t wanna say anything bad about any trainer. Joel Diaz is also a good trainer. But I just feel the work I’ve done with Salas has been excellent. What Salas has instilled in me is to fight smarter – to land more punches, and to take less punches.”
Oddsmakers have established Stanionis, a 2016 Olympian who is trained by Freddie Roach, as a 10-1 favorite to defeat Dulorme in the bout Showtime will air as its co-feature before Ennis-Lipinets. This tripleheader is set to start with a 12-round, 115-pound championship bout between the Philippines’ Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KOs) and Mexico’s Jonathan Rodriguez (22-1, 16 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Ancajas’ IBF junior bantamweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.