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Lawson Jr suspended after chaos at MGM National Harbour Theatre

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Dirrell's uncle Lawson Jr punches Uzcategui after the fight
Dirrell's uncle Lawson Jr punches Uzcategui after the fight Photo Credit: abcnews.com

After the chaotic scenes at the end of the IBF Super Middleweight World title fight between Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui, the WBC has indefinitely suspended Leon Lawson Jr from participating in any WBC sanctioned fight.

The fight was called a disqualification due to Uzcategui having thrown a punch just after the bell which resulted in Dirrell being knocked down in the eighth round. There was plenty of commotion outside of the ring which then moved into the squared circle. Dirrell at this time was still being treated by the medics after falling face first on the canvas.

Andre Dirrell won the IBF Super Middleweight title in a chaotic night of boxing
Andre Dirrell won the IBF Super Middleweight title in a chaotic night of boxing Photo Credit: news.com.au

Leon Lawson Jr, the uncle and trainer to Andre Dirrell, dashed across the ring towards Uzcategui and punched him with a left hook to the jaw and proceeded to hit him again across the chest.

The two involved were pulled apart with the Prince George County Police stepping in to gain control of the melee. Lawson Jr at this time fled the ring and left the arena. Uzcategui’s team later filed for charges of assault against Lawson Jr.

Once the drama had settled in the ring, the announcer called Andre Dirrell the new IBF Super Middleweight champion due to disqualification, though the judge’s scorecard’s seemed to be in favour of Uzcategui, if the fight had not been stopped.

The WBC spoke in regards to the incident and have pnished Lawson Jr.

“The actions, which have been seen all over the world in which Mr. Lawson attacks and punches with bare fists Uzcategui, have created regrettable damage to our sport,” the WBC said in a statement. “The WBC rejects any form of foul play, aggression and behavior. We will seek a meeting with Mr. Lawson to offer several forms of help to address this grave situation.”

The president of the ABC (Association of Boxing Commission) Michael Mazzulli issued a statement on the situation.

“The Association of Boxing Commissions feels it necessary to encourage all member commissions NOT to license Mr. Leon Lawson as a cornerman, based on his assault to Jose Uzcategui,” Mazzulli said. “Commissions have many regulations in place directed at the safety of participants. Even though it appears Lawson was reacting to a late strike in the match, NO cornerman or trainer should be so out of control as to take a punch at anyone, and certainly not at the opposing fighter.”

“As the president of the ABC, it seems that the action by Mr. Lawson was not only unprofessional but probably also criminal. The sport of boxing does not condone or excuse Mr. Lawson’s criminal act and it is my personal hope the state of Maryland will take direct action against Mr. Lawson. All commissions should refuse him license as a second/trainer anywhere in the Unites States. Instances like this one give the sweet science a black eye.”

Andre Dirrell apologised on behalf of his uncle but also said he forgives Uzcategui for the late punch. “I forgive Uzcategui. I forgive his camp. I don’t want to win a championship like this.”

Uzcategui felt he was in control of the fight. “I felt very good. I was hurting him the entire fight. I felt like I could hurt him anytime I wanted. Nothing he hit me with hurt me,” Uzcategui said. “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.”

Bill Clancy, the referee for the match, had warned Uzcategui earlier in the fight about his punches after the bell.

 

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