By Miguel Rivera
The petition has paid off.
Back in May, Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions vowed to secure a rematch for his Venezuelan super middleweight, Jose Uzcategui - after a veru controversial ending to an IBF world title eliminator with Andre Dirrell. The fight was televised by Showtime as part of a tripleheader.
Uzcategui was disqualified for hitting Dirrell after the bell. The boxer was in the middle of a three punch combination with the final blow landing after the bell and dropping Dirrell, who told the referee that he was unable to continue.
After the controversial decision in the eighth round to disqualify Uzcategui, Leon Lawson, uncle and one of the coaches of Dirrell, came over to the corner of the Venezuelan fighter and unexpectedly began to strike a distracted Uzcátegui with punches.
As BoxingScene.com previously reported, Uzcategui and his team filed assault charges in Maryland and Lawson eventually turned himself in.
Besides the criminal charges, Lawson was suspended by all of the major sanctioning bodies, the ABC and the Maryland Boxing Commission.
"Dirrell was running. he was terrified of Uzcátegui," said Beltran. "The best thing would be to make the fight a no-contest. Neither a victory for one nor a victory for the other. Let the IBF order a direct rematch and fix things as things should be fixed in this sport, in the ring."
Beltran partially got his wish. The fight verdict has yet to be reversed, but a direct rematch was ordered by the sanctioning body.
"During our review of the fight, The Championships chairman and I observed Jose Uzcategui hit Andre Dirrell and knock him to the canvas after the bell had sounded ending the eighth round. The punch that knocked Dirrell down was part of a 3-punch combination. Immediately following the knockdown referee Bill Clancy (Referee) called 'time out' and asked Andre Dirrell if he was 'ok.' Andre Dirrell was on his hands and knees and shook his head in the affirmative," stated IBF President Daryl Peoples in a letter obtained by BoxingScene.com.
"The referee then called the ringside physician into the ring to examine Andre Dirrell and told the Doctor that 'I need to know if he can continue.' During the ringside physician’s examination of Dirrell, the referee advised the ringside physician that 'I’m not going to let him continue, I’m disqualifying him for knocking him out after the bell.' The referee then consulted Executive Director of the Maryland State Athletic Commission Pat Pannella, and advised him that 'He clearly got hit after the bell. He is unable to continue. I’m disqualifying the other fighter. He knocked him out after the bell.'
"A blow that strikes a boxer after the sounding of the bell is deemed to be a foul that the Referee will determine if it was Accidental or Intentional. The Referee made it clear that he had ruled the blow to Dirrell after the bell was 'illegal.' However, the Referee did not determine whether the 'illegal' punch was intentional or accidental pursuant to these guidelines. Had the Referee determined that the “illegal” punch was accidental, the bout would have resulted in a technical decision awarded to Jose Uzcategui who was ahead on the judges’ scorecards after 8 rounds had been scored.
"The IBF has also determined that it was inappropriate for the Referee to advise Dirrell of the decision of the bout prior to the official decision being announced. Based on the above, the IBF considers the Referees failure to determine whether the foul was intentional or accidental, and that the Referee informed Dirrell of the official decision before the decision was announced, the IBF has ruled that the Referees conduct was inappropriate and will grant an immediate rematch pursuant to rule 5.K."