Alive Dib eager to rebuild boxing career
Former featherweight world boxing champion Billy Dib has learnt from his mistakes and is eager to prove himself as a super featherweight in the US this week.
Dib (36-3, 21 KOs) will fight recent world title contender Alberto Garza (26-7-1, 21 KOs) in Connecticut on Thursday (AEST).
It’s his first fight since his unsuccessful rematch in November with Russian Evgeny Gradovich, who took his IBF title away in March 2013.
A win is expected to him earn him a super featherweight world ranking.
“I’m very happy to be fighting at super featherweight. I feel alive at this weight,” Dib told AAP.
“I’m looking forward to facing an opponent who has been battle-tested.”
Garza looms as a genuine test for Dib.
In November, the Mexican unsuccessfully challenged WBA featherweight world champion Nicholas Walters, whose most recent title defence was over Australia’s Vic Darchinyan.
In his last bout, in March, Garza lost a 12-round points decision to Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza for the vacant IBO super featherweight title.
Dib’s brother and manager, Emaid, said Dib had paid his dues as a featherweight and had identified mistakes, including the need to get better sparring than he did in Australia.
“The first mistake was he was too heavy to fight at featherweight,” Emaid said.
“The second mistake was not not spending enough time acclimatising for overseas fights.
“The main one was sparring. This time, he has gone there a good month before the fight.”
Emaid is adamant 28-year-old Dib still has plenty to offer at world level.
“He’s not washed up. He’s only had three losses and they were all to boxers who have won world titles,” Emaid said.
Dib’s bout starts a big week for Australian boxers.
Former WBO interim lightweight world champion Michael Katsidis (29-6, 24 KO) has a long-awaited rematch with England’s Graham Earl (26-4, 12 KOs).
Katsidis, who stopped Earl in a five-round slugfest in London in 2007, will be fighting in his home town of Toowoomba.
Another Queenslander and arguably Australia’s best boxing prospect, Jeff Horn (7-0-1, 6 KOs), has his first overseas professional bout in New Zealand on Saturday.
He fights Brazil’s Fernando Ferreira da Silva (32-3-1, 24 KOs) for the WBO Oriental welterweight title on the undercard of the bout featuring highly rated Kiwi heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker (8-0, 7 KOs) and American Brian Minto (39-7, 25 KOs).