Andre Dirrell vs. Jose Uzcategui added to Wilder-Ortiz undercard on March.3
By Jim Dower: Interim IBF super middleweight champion Andre Dirrell (26-2, 16 KOs) and Jose Uzcategui (26-2, 2 KOs) has been added to the Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder vs. Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz card on Showtime Boxing on March 3 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The Dirrell-Uzcategui rematch will presumably be the co-feature bout on the card. However, there’s also a possibility the fight could get moved to the undercard of the Mikey Garcia vs. Sergey Lipinets card on Showtime on March 10th. For now, Dirrell-Uzcategui is listed on the undercard of Wilder-Ortiz.
Dirrell beat the 27-year-old Venezuelan Uzcategui by an 8th round disqualification last year on May 20th at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Uzcategui got a little carried away at the end of the 8th round and continued to hit Dirrell after the bell had sounded to end the round. The final right hand that hit Dirrell knocked him flat on the canvas. Dirrell was knocked out from the shot. The referee Bill Clancy hen stopped the fight and disqualified Uzcategui. It was one of those situations where the referee had little choice but to disqualify Uzcategui, because the punch that knocked Dirrell out had come after the bell, and this wasn’t the first time that he’d done that in the fight. Uzcategui had also hit Dirrell after the bell in round 4.
Uzcategui is going to need to control himself in the rematch if he doesn’t want to be disqualified again. He’s a professional fighter, and he should know that when the bell sounds to end the rounds, it doesn’t mean that you can continue to nail your opponents with shots. In Uzcategui’s case, he looked frustrated because he was missing with so many of his punches due to Dirrell’s defensive skills. I don’t think Uzcategui was quite accustomed to fighting a defensive fighter like Dirrell, so he appeared to get frustrated and throw punches after the bell. Whatever the case, Uzcategui is likely going to be kept on a short leash on March 3 by the referee that is assigned to the fight. There are rules in boxing. Fighters can’t just tee off after the rounds end. I won’t be surprising if Uzcategui is penalized immediately if he nails Dirrell after the bell in the rematch. The referee will have been briefed on what happened in the first Dirrell-Uzcategui fight, and he likely won’t put up with too much of the fouling by Uzcategui.
The 34-year-old Dirrell needs to try and stay in the center of the ring against Uzcategui, because he was taking major risks during the fight by going to the ropes and making himself a stationary target. Being a long-time pro of 13-years and 2004 U.S Olympian, Dirrell knows better than to fight with his back against the ropes. I’m sure he knows it, but he makes the same mistake each time he fights. It might be a stamina issue for Dirrell. That’s all I can think of why he would do a foolish like that repeatedly in his fight. Dirrell was badly hurt in his fight against journeyman Dereck Edwards in December 2014 when he backed up against the ropes. Dirrell won the fight by a 12 round decision, but he was knocked silly at one point when he backed against the ropes.
Having Dirrell-Uzcategui on the Wilder vs. Ortiz undercard is possibly asking for trouble on March 3. Dirrell has now been involved in 2 fights during his career in which he’s won by disqualification. His other disqualification victory came against Arthur Abraham in March 2010. Dirrell slipped on the canvas in the 11th round and was subsequently hit with a right hand from a visibly frustrated Abraham. Dirrell fell over on his side after he was hit, and he appeared out cold. Some boxing thought Dirrell was faking. Since there’s no way of being able to know that, the referee disqualified Abraham and gave Dirrell the victory. Hopefully we don’t see another fight that ends in disqualification.