Super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell clashes with hard-hitting Jose Uzcategui in a rematch for the IBF Interim 168-pound world title on March 3 from the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York as part of a tripleheader presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Heavyweight champion Deontay "The Bronze Bomber’’ Wilder will defend his title against Luis "The Real King Kong’’ Ortiz in the main event of a Showtime televised tripleheader. The telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and also features undefeated former 154-pound champion Jermall Charlo taking on Hugo Centeno, Jr.for the interim WBC middleweight title in the co-feature.
The first match between Dirrell and Uzcategui, which was also for the IBF interim world title, ended in controversy after Uzcategui was disqualified for landing a punch after the bell sounded to end the eighth round. Dirrell was dropped and knocked out by the punch. The referee ruled that the punch was intentional and disqualified Uzcategui. In the IBF mandated rematch, Dirrell and Uzcategui will look to put themselves in position to fight for the super middleweight title that Caleb Truax recently earned via a majority decision over James DeGale.
Dirrell (26-2, 16 KOs), a bronze medal winner for the 2004 U.S. Olympic boxing team, continues his quest for a world championship. The 34-year-old southpaw from Flint, Michigan lost a split decision to Carl Froch in his first attempt in 2009 and dropped a narrow unanimous decision to DeGale in his next attempt in 2015.
"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.’’
The 27-year-old Uzcategui (26-2, 22 KOs), who is from Venezuela and now lives in Tijuana, Mexico, worked his way up to the match against Dirrell with a string of four straight stoppage victories, including a stunning upset of Julian Jackson in 2015. Uzcategui dropped Jackson four times on the way to a second round technical knockout victory.
"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."