The Andre Dirrell-Jose Uzcategui saga will continue thanks to the IBF ordering a rematch between the two.
In a letter written by IBF president Daryl Peoples sent a letter to Uzcategui adviser Sean Gibbons and promoter Zanfer Promotions, the governing body said that after further review of the footage regarding the ending of the first fight, an immediate rematch must be made.
During our review of the fight, The Championships chairman and I observed Jose Uzcategui hit Andre Dirrell and knock him to the canvas after the bell had sounded ending the eighth round. The punch that knocked Dirrell down was part of a 3-punch combination. Immediately following the knockdown referee Bill Clancy (Referee) called 'time out' and asked Andre Dirrell if he was 'ok.' Andre Dirrell was on his hands and knees and shook his head in the affirmative.
The referee then called the ringside physician into the ring to examine Andre Dirrell and told the Doctor that 'I need to know if he can continue.' During the ringside physician’s examination of Dirrell, the referee advised the ringside physician that 'I’m not going to let him continue, I’m disqualifying him for knocking him out after the bell.' The referee then consulted Executive Director of the Maryland State Athletic Commission Pat Pannella, and advised him that 'He clearly got hit after the bell. He is unable to continue. I’m disqualifying the other fighter. He knocked him out after the bell.
A blow that strikes a boxer after the sounding of the bell is deemed to be a foul that the Referee will determine if it was Accidental or Intentional. The Referee made it clear that he had ruled the blow to Dirrell after the bell was 'illegal.' However, the Referee did not determine whether the 'illegal' punch was intentional or accidental pursuant to these guidelines. Had the Referee determined that the “illegal” punch was accidental, the bout would have resulted in a technical decision awarded to Jose Uzcategui who was ahead on the judges’ scorecards after 8 rounds had been scored.
The IBF has also determined that it was inappropriate for the Referee to advise Dirrell of the decision of the bout prior to the official decision being announced. Based on the above, the IBF considers the Referee's failure to determine whether the foul was intentional or accidental, and that the Referee informed Dirrell of the official decision before the decision was announced, the IBF has ruled that the Referees conduct was inappropriate and will grant an immediate rematch pursuant to rule 5.K.
Dirrell won the vacant IBF interim super middleweight title by eighth-round DQ after Uzcategui punched him just as the bell rang to end the eighth round and he was ruled unable to continue on the Gary Russell Jr.-Oscar Escandon undercard at the MGM National Harbor. Despite Dirrell winning via disqualification, Uzcategui was actually ahead in the official cards. Uzcategui was ahead 77-74 and 77-75 on two scorecards, and the third judge had the fight 76-76.
Leon Lawson Jr., Dirrell's uncle and assistant trainer, stormed across the ring and hit a hard left hand on Uzcategui's face after the fight had ended, causing a commotion and wild goose chase as police tried to apprehend Lawson. Lawson faces a trial beginning August 16 in Maryland District Court on a second-degree assault charge, a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Lawson was also suspended indefinitely by the WBC for his transgression.
The first fight was created as an interim world champion was needed as IBF champion James DeGale was still recovering from several injuries sustained in his fight against Badou Jack back in January. That fight, which was a unification fight, ended in a majority draw.
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