Jose Uzcategui: ‘I’m very excited to go get what’s mine’
On March 3, top-rated super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell, 26-2 (16), will once again lock horns with Jose Uzcategui, 26-2 (22), in a rematch for the IBF interim 168-pound title.
The fight will take place live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, as part of a tripleheader presented by Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime.
In the main event, undefeated WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will defend his title against Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz.
The card will also feature undefeated former 154-pound champion Jermall Charlo taking on Hugo Centeno Jr. for the WBC interim middleweight title, in support.
The controversy-laden, first bout between Dirrell and Uzcategui, also for the IBF interim title, ended in controversy after Uzcategui was disqualified for throwing a punch that was ruled to have landed after the bell to end the eighth round. Dirrell was dropped by the punch and was unable to continue.
Referee Bill Clancy ruled that the punch was intentional and disqualified Uzcategui for the alleged infraction.
Venezuelan-born Uzcategui, who now lives in Tijuana, Mexico, made it clear in a recent interview that he is excited to get back into the ring with Dirrell and get what he feels is rightfully his.
“I’m very excited to go get what’s mine,” said Uzcategui. “I feel I won the last fight. I didn’t feel I did anything wrong. What happened in the last fight is in the past. I’m going to get what belongs to me. The world will see what ‘Bolivita’ can do and they’ll want to see more of me.”
The first fight certainly wasn’t without its share of post-fight disagreements.
While the Uzcategui camp felt its fighter landed a punch right at the bell, and it was not an intentionally late punch, many in the Dirrell camp disagreed.
Dirrell’s assistant trainer (and uncle) Leon Lawson Jr. went over to Uzcategui after the fight and landed a hard punch to his jaw, adding more disruption in the ring. The assault, on TV in front of a live viewing audience, led to the eventual arrest of Lawson on assault charges.
UCNLive.com also caught up with Uzcategui adviser Sean Gibbons to get his take on the rematch and what fans can expect from his fighter.
“Listen, Jose should have won the first fight they had,” said Gibbons, clearly frustrated with the ending to their first meeting. “He landed a clean knockout punch. The only way the referee can call that a disqualification is if he feels the fighter intentionally landed the punch after the bell. There is no way he was doing that. Look at the replays. He was ending off a combination and it was the final punch that lands right at the bell. There is no way that was intentional and he was robbed of a win. But he is in great shape and he is going to win this time and there will be no excuses. Uzcategui will be leaving the ring with the belt.”