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Uzcategui’s DQ against Dirrell upheld by Maryland commission

The commission has backed the referee’s disqualification of Jose Uzcategui in his fight against Andre Dirrell.


A few months after a controversial disqualification of Jose Uzcategui against Andre Dirrell in May, the Maryland State Athletic commission has now upheld referee Bill Clancy’s decision to disqualify Uzcategui for a late punch that left Dirrell unable to continue in the fight.

Here’s a quick replay of the ending of the fight.

ESPN reports that the commission held a hearing to review the disqualification of Uzcategui on Wednesday in Baltimore and the commission voted 3-1 (with one commission member being absent) in favor of upholding the ruling.

"The Maryland State Athletic Commission conducted a hearing regarding a protest of the referee's decision made in the May 20, 2017 world title match between boxers Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui. After hearing expert testimony, the commission upheld the call of referee Bill Clancy," commission spokeswoman Theresa M. Blaner said in a statement given to ESPN. "The commission's written determination will be issued within the next month."

It seems that the deciding factor in this incident was the fact that the referee had previously warned Uzcategui for hitting after the bell earlier in the fight, which led the referee to believe the ultimate blow ending the fight at the end of the eighth round was intentional, even if he was in the midst of throwing a combination.

What would transpire after that late punch and disqualification, as you can see above, was nothing short of a disaster. Andre Dirrell’s uncle and trainer, Leon Lawson Jr., would enter the ring and sneak up on Uzcategui only to unload a left hook on him while he wasn’t looking. It was unconscionable. And in the midst of all the confusion and the resulting fracas, Lawson managed to leave the state while local police were looking for him.

Lawson would be hit with a second degree assault charge and would eventually turn himself in, and he now has a scheduled trial to begin on Nov. 16. It is expected, however, that Lawson and the district attorney’s office will reach a plea bargain deal that could see Lawson spend at least some time in jail.

So despite how unfortunate things might’ve worked out for Uzcategui here, the good news is that the IBF doesn’t agree with the Maryland Commission’s ruling — criticizing the referee’s handling of the fight — and have therefore ordered an immediate rematch between Uzcategui and Dirrell. Uzcategui’s advisor Sean Gibbons hopes the rematch can been settled for December.

"We came to the state of Maryland on May 20 to challenge for [an interim] world title, and Uzcategui got assaulted that night, and we came back for this hearing and we were assaulted again -- by the commission, by Clancy, by the attorney general's office and Dirrell's attorney," Gibbons said, noting that in around 300 amateur bouts and 28 pro fights Uzcategui had never had a point deducted for a foul. "They were all going after us for an unintentional foul. It felt like they showed up to go to war instead of having a nice civil hearing to show that Uzcategui never tried to do anything intentional."

Uzcategui will officially keep the DQ loss on his record, but it seems that he will have a shot at retribution — hopefully between the bells — in the near future.