Mexico’s Uzcategui stops Dirrell for interim IBF crown
NEW YORK (AP) — Jose Uzcategui pounded Andre Dirrell for eight rounds before the fight was stopped at the beginning of the ninth Saturday night, giving the Mexican the interim IBF super middleweight title.
It was never a contest. Uzcategui, who was disqualified last May for a late punch to Dirrell in a fight Uzcategui was winning, came out firing and never stopped. His right hand was lethal, whether to the head or the body, as a lead or a counterpunch.
Uzcategui improved to 27-2 with 23 knockouts. Dirrell dropped to 26-3.
Last spring, Uzcategui was DQ’d for a late punch at the end of the eighth round. That result was overshadowed by Dirrell’s trainer, Leon Lawson Jr., throwing a series of punches at Uzcategui following the fight. Lawson was suspended and faces a court date in Maryland.
As if there wasn’t enough intrigue surrounding the fight, the start was delayed over an issue with the color of Uzcategui’s urine. Once doctors cleared him to fight, he was unstoppable.
The bout came on the undercard to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s defense against Cuba’s Luis Ortiz.