The uncle of boxer Andre Dirrell is wanted by police after he sucker-punched his nephew’s opponent following a fight at MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, ESPN.com reports.
The fight ended when Dirrell was dropped by a late hit by Jose Uzcategui that landed after the eighth-round bell. Dirrell was ruled unable to continue, but was awarded the interim super middleweight title by DQ.
While referee Bill Clancy ruled Uzcategui’s blow came after the bell, it was close. It was the final punch of a combination and certainly did not look malicious, although Uzcategui was warned earlier in the fight for throwing a late punch.
As the ringside doctor examined Dirrell, Leon Lawson Jr. – his uncle and assistant trainer – made a beeline toward Uzcategui and delivered a left hook to the Venezuelan’s jaw.
Uzcategui didn’t see the punch coming but absorbed it just fine and had to be held back from retaliating. Craziness ensued in the ring, but Lawson was able to sneak off.
“I’m sorry for what my coach has done,” Dirrell said later. “My coach is my family, my uncle, and he was worried. He cares for me. He loves me. Please forgive him.”
Doesn’t seem Uzcategui’s camp or the state of Maryland is in a forgiving mood. Uzcategui’s advisor Sean Gibbons filed a complaint to police and tweeted out an image of the court document with the charges against Lawson (via The Sun).
— Sean Gibbons (@KnuckleheadSean) May 21, 2017
Lawson faces first and second degree assault charges and up to 25 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Uzcategui is appealing the referee’s decision.
“Referee blew the call there was nothing untentional (sic) about Uzcategui and the punch,” Gibbons tweeted.
Said Uzcategui, per USA Today, “I was throwing a three-punch combination and I didn’t hear the bell. I didn’t mean to hit him. The third punch wasn’t that hard of a punch. I was surprised he stayed down.
“He did the same thing against (Arthur) Abraham that he did against me tonight. He quit against me and he quit against him. I deserve to be the winner.”