The ongoing saga of Leon Lawson's now-infamous post-fight punch on Jose Uzcategui has reached a new chapter: the suspension of Lawson's license by the WBC.
The WBC announced that it has indefinitely suspended Lawson from participating in any WBC-sanctioned fight "in any form or manner." In a statement, the governing body said Lawson, Andre Dirrell's uncle and assistant trainer, did "regrettable damage" to the sport of boxing.
"The actions, which have been seen all over the world in which Mr. Lawson attacks and punches with bare fists Uzcategui, have created regrettable damage to our sport," the WBC said. "The WBC rejects any form of foul play, aggression and behavior. We will seek a meeting with Mr. Lawson to offer several forms of help to address this grave situation."
The Association of Boxing Commissions, an organization that works with commissions to standardize rules, encouraged all member commissions to refuse to license Lawson. ABC president Michael Mazzulli issued a statement denouncing Lawson's actions, saying it gives the sport "a black eye."
"The Association of Boxing Commissions feels it necessary to encourage all member commissions NOT to license Mr. Leon Lawson as a cornerman, based on his assault to Jose Uzcategui. Commissions have many regulations in place directed at the safety of participants. Even though it appears Lawson was reacting to a late strike in the match, NO cornerman or trainer should be so out of control as to take a punch at anyone, and certainly not at the opposing fighter. As the president of the ABC, it seems that the action by Mr. Lawson was not only unprofessional but probably also criminal. The sport of boxing does not condone or excuse Mr. Lawson's criminal act and it is my personal hope the state of Maryland will take direct action against Mr. Lawson. All commissions should refuse him license as a second/trainer anywhere in the Unites States. Instances like this one give the sweet science a black eye."
The controversy started in the Dirrell vs. Uzcategui fight for a super middleweight world title. Dirrell won the vacant 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. As Dirrell was being attended to by the ringside doctor, Lawson stormed across the ring and hit a hard left hand on Uzcategui's face which started a riot inside the ring.
Lawson then left the arena, leaving police to try and search for him as Uzcategui decided to press assault charges against Lawson.