Dirrell wins by DQ, then sees uncle sucker-punch opponent

Updated: 

The IBF interim super middleweight title fight between Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui in Maryland ended in highly controversial circumstances on Saturday, as the latter was disqualified before being punched in the face by Dirrell's uncle and trainer.

Venezuelan Uzcategui had already been warned for landing a shot after the bell earlier in the fight when he repeated the offence in round eight, flooring Dirrell with the last strike of a three-punch combination.

Referee Bill Clancy ruled that Dirrell was unable to continue and disqualified Uzcategui, but further drama soon followed.

Amid significant anger from the Dirrell camp, his cornerman Leon Lawson Jr approached Uzcategui and threw a sickening sucker-punch that landed flush on the 26-year-old's chin.

Showtime host Jim Gray reported that Lawson Jr was being sought by police in connection with the incident, while Dirrell issued an apology for his uncle's actions.

The American was quoted by CBS Sports as saying: "I'm very apologetic for what my coach has done. But he loves me. That's my man, that's my uncle, that's my brother, that's my coach. He cares about my well-being first. 

"I don't understand why he did that because, like I said, I feel fine. But this is just the way the cards is dealt sometimes. I have to deal with this, Jose has to deal with this loss and my uncle has to deal with whatever you have to do to him on the board. But please forgive him."

Reflecting on the punch that resulted in Uzcategui's disqualification, Dirrell added: "All I heard was the bell and me going down. But I forgive Uzcategui with all my heart. I don't want to win a championship like this."