Michigan’s Andre Dirrell will meet Jose Uzcategui again this weekend as the co-main event for the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz heavyweight bout.
Their previous fight ended nefariously on both sides, but for different reasons. After a series of hits after the bell by Uzcategui, the uncle of Dirrell, Leon Lawson Jr. two-pieced him en route to his nephew winning the interim IBF super middleweight title by default from a disqualification.
The punch delivered at the end of the 8th round was classified as an assault in the District Court of Maryland for Prince Georges County. The fact that they rematched the fight is pure bliss to fight fans who savored the crass ending of the bout.
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Still, from a pure boxing standpoint, Dirrell will need to be on his toes. Uzcategui definitely was looking for a knockout in their first matchup and his overzealous nature led to him deliberately hitting Dirrell after the bell repeatedly.
Dirrell was losing the matchup at the MGM Grand National Harbor handily, however, at the end of the third round, Uzcategui hit Dirrell after the bell flush with a hard punch. Referee Bill Clancy went to the corner and warned the Venezuelan to not hit his opponent after the bell, but that warning was not fully heeded.
At the end of the 7th round, as Dirrell was taking major punishment in the corner, the bell sounded a stop to the round but Uzcategui continued his onslaught. Dirrell caught the bitter ends of a three-piece combination to the grill, which dropped him flat on the canvas. The punches came after the bell, however, what came next was shocking to say the least.
An unsuspecting Uzcategui stood in his neutral corner with his arms straddling the ropes when Lawson came up and delivered a left hook to the jaw followed by a right cross to the neck. The first punch was actually better than any his nephew hurled the entire fight.
After losing the then-vacant IBF super middleweight title to James DeGale, the bout against Uzcategui was for championship redemption and the victory was bittersweet. Now the two have a chance to settle the score and really decide who won the first fight. Hopefully, there won’t be any Leon Lawson, Jr. sightings and if so, all in the opposing corner should protect their necks.