Thomas Dulorme entered the night badly in need of a win. He managed just that against an unbeaten foe in Terrel Williams and in a thoroughly entertaining affair to boot.
The former title challenger and present day veteran welterweight contender picked up arguably his biggest win to date, handing Williams his first loss in the process after scoring a 10-round unanimous decision Saturday evening at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, Calif.
Scores were 98-91 (twice) and 96-93 in favor of Dulorme, who snaps a two-fight winless streak spanning more than 32 months.
The opening round came down to preference in a pairing of boxer versus stalker. Dulorme sought to force an aggressive pace, enjoying moments late in a round where Williams was able to maintain distance for the most part behind a long and steady jab.
Dulorme considerably closed the gap in round, powering his way inside with right hand shots upstairs. Williams did his best to circle away from the Puerto Rican slugger’s money punch but not quite as fleet of foot as he needed to be to avoid the incoming. The Los Angeles native changed it up in round three, working behind his jab to force Dulorme to punch from long range. When forced to stand and trade, Williams bit down and doubled up on his left hand in his best effort to reclaim momentum.
It was short-lived as Dulorme bullied his way inside in rounds four and five. Williams spent much of the frame on the defensive after getting clipped with a right hand and left hook early on, never to the point of hitting the canvas but also finding it increasingly difficult to find the veteran contender at bay.
Action slowed down just enough heading into the second half to work in Williams’ favor. Most of round six was spent in close quarters, but with Dulorme plodding forward rather than forcing his way inside. The sharper punching Williams took advantage of the tactic shift, effectively fighting in reverse and widening his punches in best efforts to slip past Dulorme’s high guard.
Dulorme found his second win in round seven, while fatigue clearly set in for Williams whose punch output dramatically decreased. As active as was Dulorme in the round, head trainer Joel Diaz demanded more action down the stretch.
Those wishes were granted, though it came at a cost. Dulorme enjoyed a dominant round eight, but one where he suffered a deep cut just above his left eyelid. A left hook caught Williams on the chin as he was ducking down, slightly off balance as he jerked his head upwards in catching Dulorme just over his eye.
Fortunately, it never became a factor although Williams was able to outwork his bloodied foe in round nine. It wasn’t enough to make a dent on the scorecards nor did he possess the firepower or volume to score a bailout knockout which was his only chance.
Instead it was Dulorme who nearly took the fight out of the judges’ hands. A sweeping left hook sent Williams sprawling to the canvas for the bout’s lone knockdown, coming late in round ten. Williams made it to his feet but spent the final 0:45 on unsteady legs and barely able to survive the merciless onslaught.
For Dulorme, it’s his first win in nearly three years as the 29-year old storms to 25-3-1 (16KOs). He was competitive in an Aug. 2017 points loss to Yordenis Ugas, who went on to fight for a welterweight title and continues to serve as a top-rated welterweight contender.
Last October came a far more dramatic showing for Dulorme, who avoided a second straight loss after scoring the latter of two knockdowns in the final round of a 12-round draw versus former two-division titlist Jessie Vargas. He hadn’t fought since then but didn’t show any ring rust at all in his ring return.
Meanwhile, Williams suffers his first career loss and with concern of where he goes moving forward. His career trajectory came to a crashing halt in the aftermath of his Oct. 2015 win over Prichard Colon, who remains paralyzed from the numerous blows and fouls absorbed in the affair. Williams has fought just four times since then, having claimed a narrow points win over Justin DeLoach earlier this year.
The bout served in supporting capacity to a super middleweight battle between former middleweight titlist Peter Quillin and veteran contender Alfredo Angulo.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox