By Steve Kim
In the most shocking incident of a busy boxing weekend - Leon Lawson Jr., the trainer and uncle of Andre Dirrell, attacked Jose Uzcategui after the bizarre conclusion to his nephew's fight.
The trainer is now wanted on assault charges. The incident, which took place after the eight round, was caught by Showtime during their broadcast on Saturday night from the MGM Grand National in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
"Yes, we filed assault charges on Leon Lawson because that's one of the most horrific things I've seen in boxing in my last thirty years, to attack a defenseless fighter with a sucker punch," said Sean Gibbons, who works with the Venezuelan, to BoxingScene.com.
The charges were filed in the District Court of Maryland for Prince George's County.
At the end of the eighth round, Uzcategui threw a combination that stunned Dirrell. The last punch, a left hook, seemed to come just after the bell had sounded. Dirrell was dazed and floored and eventually referee Bill Clancy disqualified Uzcategui.
With the victory Dirrell becomes the interim IBF super middleweight titlist.
But Gibbons says he plans to appeal, telling BoxingScene late Saturday night:
"100 percent [I'll appeal], I'll be attending the IBF convention starting tomorrow. I've reviewed the tape many times. I've talked to a lot of reporters that have reviewed it and it was literally in the process of a three-piece combination, the second punch had hurt Dirrell and the third one was a natural shot across as the bell sounded. It wasn't after the bell - it was simultaneous. When you're in the middle of a combination and you can't hold back," Gibbon said.
Regardless, Gibbons, a veteran of the sport, says this is the worst incident he has ever witnesses.
"I've been in Argentina when there was a riot and I had people jumping in, trying to attack us but no one really physically put hands on us," said Gibbons, referencing the mayhem after the 2012 bout between Johnriel Casimero and Luis Lizarte. "That right there tonight would could have permanently damaged the guy.
"The guy (Lawson) walked up like he was going to say something to Uzcategui's trainer. Uzcategui was not looking, the guy drilled him with a huge shot. And you know the worst shot is the one you don't see. It's amazing he stayed on his feet. That guy is a complete, utter scumbag."
As for how Uzcategui felt in the aftermath, Gibbons says - "the situation was kind of whacked. We were the victim, we were attacked, Uzcategui was assaulted, next thing you know the Maryland commission is all over us in the dressing room for some drug test we already did before the fight and we weren't required to do anything. All they wanted to do was drag him up and they sent the police in and they said we had to report to this room for a drug test. I said no.
"About ten minutes later Uzcategui started feeling a bit dizzy coming down from his adrenaline and we had him transported to the hospital where he's still at now and their running tests."
As for Lawson, well, he's yet to be found.
"Leon Lawson's such a tough guy, such a bad ass that after he sucker punched Uzcategui, he bolted out of the place, the police went by the hotel canvassing the area. The guy is nowhere to be found - a real tough guy," said Gibbons.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.