By Ian S Palmer
Andre Dirrell of Flint, Michigan will be taking on Jose Uzcategui of Venezuela at for the interim IBF Super Middleweight Championship at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland this Saturday, May 20th. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the U.S. on Showtime. Dirrell is an Olympic medalist as he captured a bronze in Athens, Greece back in 2004. His last outing was a 10-round unanimous decision over Blake Caparello in April of 2016 after being dropped in the second round. Uzcategui last fought in August when he stopped Fabiano Pena in the second round.
The 33-year-old Dirrell hasn’t been too active lately as he fought just once in 2015 and once more in 2016. He’s a southpaw who will climb into the ring with an impressive record of 25-2 along with 16 Kos. His defeats came against James DeGale by 12-round unanimous decision in May of 2015 and at the hands of another British boxer when Carl Froch of England beat him by 12-round split decision back in October of 2009.
Dirrell stands 6-feet-1-inches tall and has a 75-inch reach. He turned pro back in 2005 and has fought 156 rounds since then with a current knockout ratio of 59 per cent. His best wins have been against the likes of Curtis Stevens, Anthony Hanshaw, Derrick Findley, Arthur Abraham, Darryl Cunningham and Derek Edwards. He also beat Arthur Abraham by an 11th-round disqualification on 2010. He’s won seven of his last eight contests and 10of his last 13 wins have been by stoppage.
The 26-year-old Uzcategui is a banger who now fights out of Mexico. He stands just over 6-feet-2-inches tall with a reach of 76.5 inches which gives him a slight height and reach advantage over Dirrell. He’s got quite a bit of power with a current knockout ratio of 81 per cent and enters the contest with a record of 26-1 with 22 Kos. He’s boxed just 77 rounds since turning pro back in 2011 and his last nine wins have all been by knockout.
Uzcategui’s lone career loss was by a 10-round unanimous decision to Matt Korobov in June of 2014. His biggest wins have been against Derrick Findley, David Lopez and Julian Jackson and beat all three of them by stoppage. He also has a 10-round unanimous decision win over Rogelio Medina. Uzcategui has a decent chin and good power, but he’s sometimes a bit wild with his punches.
This could be a tough fight for Dirrell due to Uzcategui’s power and size. Dirrell has a pretty good chin, but has been on the deck before and he’ll need to be wary of Uzcategui’s power shots. As far as boxing skills go, Dirrell has the edge, but he’s also seven years older than his opponent and slowing down slightly. Dirrell has the edge in experience, especially against top-class boxers and that could be enough for him to pull this fight out. Look for Dirrell to win this fight, but don’t e surprised if he’s caught by a big shot and upset either.