The Andre Dirrell vs. Jose Uzcategui rivalry has taken some bizarre turns, but Uzcategui ultimately showed he was the better fighter, winning the interim IBF super middleweight title.
Uzcategui defeated Dirrell by TKO at the start of the ninth round to win the IBF title. The fight, a rematch from their first fight last May, opened the Showtime Championship Boxing card at the Barclays Center that was headlined by Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz.
Uzcategui dominated the fight from the start, punishing Dirrell with numerous power punches. Uzcategui seriously hurt Dirrell towards the end of the third round and Dirrell did little to push back and get in a position to win the fight. Uzcategui's best round came in the eighth round when he hurt Dirrell throughout the entire round, bruising Dirrell's face. In between rounds eight and nine, Dirrell's corner threatened to stop the fight if Dirrell didn't fight back. Two seconds into the ninth round, Dirrell's trainer Virgil Hunter protected his fighter and stopped the bout, awarding Uzcategui the win.
The rematch was in serious danger of not happening. Moments before both fighters were set to open the Showtime telecast, the fight got delayed after a urine test by Uzcategui revealed an irregularity in the color of the urine. After a rushed examination, the New York State Athletic Commission ruled that the issue was not PED-related, but a result of Uzcategui receiving vitamin shots, first reported by multiple outlets and later confirmed by Uzcategui in a post-fight interview.
The first fight ended in controversy as Uzcategui knocked out Dirrell after the eighth round ended. Dirrell was awarded the win and the title by disqualification as a result of Uzcategui's punch despite Uzcategui being ahead on two of the three judges' scorecards, but the big headline made in the fight was what happened after the fight. Leon Lawson, Dirrell's trainer rushed to the ring and sucker punched Uzcategui. The IBF then ordered an immediate rematch.
With the win, Uzcategui will now target IBF world champion Caleb Truax, who does not have his first title defense set. Uzcategui also said after the fight that he would want to fight WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez after hopefully beating Truax.