Uzcategui stops Dirrell, wins IBF interim belt

By Arvin Nundloll at ringside
Photos: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui (27-2, 23 KOs) claimed the IBF’s interim 168-pound world title with a one-sided beating over Andre Dirrell (26-3, 16 KOs) on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Dirrell didn’t come out for round nine.

After a brief delay filled with confusion, Dirrell and Uzcategui brawled it out in a rematch for the interim IBF Super Middleweight Championship belt in a scheduled 12 round bout. Dirrell the sharper puncher but he couldn’t contain Uzcategui’s aggression and found himself eating some heavy handed shots that led to his corner stopping the fight at the beginning of round 9.

Dirrell started off defensive, using his jab to keep Uzcategui away while he took his time to figure out the optimal distance and feel Uzcategui’s power. As the rounds progressed Uzcategui began stalking down Dirrell, throwing hooks to the body where possible but still eating counter jabs back from Dirrell.

Right at the sound of the bell indicating the 3rd round ended, Uzcategui landed a flush right to the body that forced Dirrell to take a knee but did not count as a knockdown. The 4th round saw Uzcategui come out with a point to prove as he dominated the round by neutralizing Dirrell’s reach with the jab by staying in the pocket.

Round 8 was a rock-em sock-em round with both fighters tearing each other apart with vicious hooks to the body and uppercuts that sent shudders throughout the arena. In a twist of events, Dirrell’s corner stopped the fight at the beginning of 9 due to an injury with his right arm. Official time of the stoppage was 0:02 of Round 9. Uzcategui picks up the interim belt and moves to 27-2, 23 KO’s while Dirrell falls to 26-3, 16 KO’s.

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