The rematch between Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui was almost called off at the last minute as late drama unfolded in New York.
The New York State Athletic Commission reportedly investigated the presence of blood in Uzcategui’s pre-fight urine sample, which led to a half hour delay in the Showtime broadcast.
Fans were bemused as TV announcers around the world attempted to fill in time with no boxing to speak of until Jimmy Lennon Jr. confirmed the interim IBF super-middleweight clash would go ahead.
It was an anxious wait before Uzcategui was cleared and the fight went ahead as planned at Barclays Center.
Once the action got underway, it was Uzcategui who dominated proceedings, tagging Dirrell in every round as the American struggled to gain a foothold.
After eight rounds of pummelling, Dirrell was pulled out by a combination of ringside doctors, his own corner and himself.
Prior to the co-feature, talented prospect Richardson Hitchins kicked off events as the super-lightweight moved to 4-0 with a second round stoppage of Charles Stanford prior to Sergiy Derevyanchenko securing an impressive sixth round triumph against Dashon Johnson.
Derevyanchenko, who improved to 12-0 with the win, piled on the pressure scoring with big shots to the head before the fight was halted by Johnson’s corner.
Gary Antuanne Russell, the brother of the WBC featherweight champion of the same name, continued his unbeaten beginnings in the pro ranks when getting Keason Freeman out of there in two.
Also on the bill, Alicia Napoleon claimed the vacant Women’s WBA super middleweight title with unanimous and decisive a points victory over Femke Hermans before Patrick Day out-scored Kyrone Davis at super-welterweight.