Andre Dirrell vs. Jose Uzcategui rematch added to Wilder-Ortiz card
By Allan Fox: Andre Dirrell will be fighting knockout artist Jose Uzcategui on the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz card in less than a month on SHOWTIME as part of a tripleheader on the 3rd of March at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The card starts at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
The other fight on the televised portion of the SHOWTIME card is middleweight Jermall Charlo facing Hugo Centeno Jr. for the interim WBC 160 lb. title. Dirrell-Uzcategui will be the first fight shown on Showtime followed by Charlo-Centeno Jr. in the co-feature and then Wilder-Ortiz in the main event.
Dirrell vs. Uzcategui isn’t an interesting as the Charlo vs. Centeno Jr. fight, as neither of those guys are viewed as the best or even close to the best at 168. Dirrell’s career has gone nowhere since his loss to Carl Froch in 2009. It was a controversial 12 round split decision loss for Dirrell, but he led his career stall out after he beat Arthur Abraham by an 11th round disqualification in his next fight in March 2010.
Dirrell took almost 2 years off from boxing after the Abraham fight. When Dirrell did come back, he stayed active the way he needed to. Dirrell fought once in 2013, 3 times in 2014, 1 time in 2015, 1 time in 2016 and 1 time in 2017. That’s 5 years in the prime of Dirrell’s career in which he fought just once per year. Dirrell didn’t fight at all in 2012. It’s such a waste of Dirrell’s best years of his career for him not to have fought at least 2 times per year if not 3 times.
This card will be presented by Premier Boxing Champions. Dirrell and Uzcategui, 27, will be fighting for the interim IBF World super middleweight title. The two fighters battled last May with Dirrell winning by an 8th round disqualification in an exciting contest. Uzcategui mentally sabotaged his efforts when he hit Dirrell after the bell sounded to end the 8th round. Dirrell was hurt with the last punch that landed, and he could continue fighting. The referee Billy Clancy was left with no choice but to give the win to the 34-year-old Dirrell.
For some reason, Uzcategui was continuing to throw punches after the rounds had ended. He had done the same thing earlier in the fight. The only explanation you can come up with for why Uzcategui continued to throw punches at the end of rounds was the fact that he was having such hard time landing his shots against the hard to hit Dirrell, who is one of the best fighters defensively in the 168 lb. division. Dirrell is nicknamed ‘The Matrix’ due to his defensive skills.
Uzcategui had never fought anyone with that kind of skills, and he naturally frustration. Uzcategui showed his frustration with the way he would keep throwing punches after the rounds ended. If he does the same thing in the rematch on March 3, then he’ll likely lose points and get disqualified again. Clancy did the right thing in disqualifying Uzcategui, because he clearly was not following the rules of boxing with the way he kept hitting Dirrell after the rounds would end.
Dirrell was having his way with Uzcategui last May in their fight at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill. Maryland.
The winner of the Dirrell vs. Uzcategui rematch will eventually get a shot at fighting IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Truax or James DeGale if he beats him in the rematch. Truax captured the IBF 168 lb. title recently with a 12 round majority decision over DeGale.
“I’m extremely excited to be a part of one of the most dynamic tripleheaders this year,” Dirrell said. “This time around I’ll be phenomenal and leave no doubt who the better fighter is. I’m 100 percent focused on dominating Uzcategui on March 3 and getting another shot at the title.”
Uzcategui was totally outclassed by Matt Korobov in losing a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision in June 2014. Since then, Uzcategui has won 4 out of his last 5 fights in beating Daniel Eduardo Yocupicio, Julius Jackson, Derrick Findley and Fabiano Pena.
Dirrell can’t afford to drop to the canvas if he gets hit after the bell, because it might not result in him being given another disqualification win. Dirrell has won 2 fights during his career by disqualification. That’s not good for his rep.