By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing
Two-time world champion Billy “The Kid” Dib spoke to Fightnews.com® about winning the IBF featherweight crown in 2011, still being rated as a lightweight in 2022, and calling out undisputed champion George” Ferocious “ Kambosos.
In 2011 you performed at your best to defeat tough Mexican Jorge Lacierva to win a clear twelve round decision to capture the IBF featherweight crown. Was that a dream come true to be IBF world champion?
It certainly was a dream come true. I had worked so hard for more than half of my life to turn my dream into a reality. Even though I had captured the IBO super featherweight championship a few years earlier, winning the IBF world featherweight championship cemented my legacy as a true world champion and that was special to me. It also came against a solid, rugged and experienced opponent in Lacierva so it’s something that I will always be proud of.
You followed that with a round one KO of Alberto Serviedi when crowned at 2.38 by referee Pete Podgorski. Serviedi was unbeaten in 33 fights. Were you surprised you stopped the Italian boxer so early?
I wasn’t surprised because I knew how I felt going into that fight. I was intent on showing the Australian boxing public that I could be entertaining in fights and proved so in that destructive performance. He was undefeated and came across as quite arrogant in he and his team’s dealings with us prior to the fight so that gave me a little extra incentive to end the fight as early as possible.
In 2012 you defended the IBF championship against respected Mexican Eduardo Escobedo and you were impressive in stopping him at the conclusion of round six. Your thoughts on that performance?
I believe that was one of my strongest and most dominant performances to date. Escobedo was the mandatory challenger and we had previously been matched against one another before the fight fell through so there was a bit of history there already. I knew that he was a good operator and was well schooled so it was imperative to go forward, attack the body hard and give him little rest or thinking time. I felt so strong and confident that night and could feel the exchanges taking the life out of him until he eventually quit on his stool. That was a proud moment in my career to be able to make a Mexican fighter quit on his stool to the surprise of many boxing experts.
You lost the IBF championship to Evgeny Gradovich. What are your memories of that bout?
I actually lost my IBF Title to Gradovich in a Split Decision loss earlier that year which was absolutely heartbreaking. I had just worked my way back to fighting in the US once again having not fought there since the first loss of my career, a WBO world featherweight title fight against Steven Luevano. I paid the price for wanting to show the US fans that I was entertaining to watch and deviated a bit from our game plan. A rematch was set up for late 2013 and that culminated in a 9th round TKO loss, unfortunately. He proved too strong that night and it just wasn’t meant to be for me which was a bitter pill to swallow.
You have remained active since that fight against Evgeny Gradovich nine years ago and in 2022 you were awarded a disqualification victory over highly-regarded Jacob Ng. Can you tell me about that fight?
I have stayed quite active and worked my way to another two world title challenges against the then WBC super featherweight world champion Takashi Miura and an IBF super featherweight world championship bout against Tevin Farmer. Again, I was unable to capture those titles but have proved that with perseverance and dedication that I can still fight at the elite level of the sport.
The bout against Ng was going the way that I thought it would. I knew that my head movement and ability to stay in the fight throughout the early rounds would eventually tire and frustrate him. I felt like I was beginning to find my timing again and was ready to take over the second half of the fight. It wasn’t the ending to the fight that I had envisioned and the fractured ribs as a result of an illegal throwdown definitely put a sour note on the victory but nevertheless, a win is a win and it has now placed me in a good position going forward.
You are now rated by IBF and WBO in the lightweight division to undisputed IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC Franchise champion George Kambosos. You know George well having sparred him when he was amateur. Would you be interested in challenging Kambosos in Australia?
If George is able to defeat Devin Haney on June 5, it could possibly set up an all Australian showdown for the undisputed lightweight championship of the world. That is certainly enticing to me as it would be the first and likely the last time something of this magnitude could happen between two Aussies. I’m in this sport for belts, legacy & history. This fight ticks all three.
Ryan García is rated IBF#9 and you are rated IBF#6 . García has a massive following on social media. Would you be interested in a García v Dib bout in the USA?
I’d be interested in any fight that makes sense for me at this stage of my career. Ryan García certainly has a massive following but for now, I am looking at those above me in the ratings in order to set up a mega bout against Kambosos here in Australia. In saying that though, I will never rule out any fight that makes sense and can get me to where I believe I am headed.
Gervonta Davis is one of the best lightweights in the world. Would you be confident of victory over Tank Davis?
Davis is one of the best young talents in the sport and has proven what a destructive force he can be in the ring. No one is unbeatable in boxing and I believe my skills and experience will trouble anyone in the lightweight division. I believe it’d be a great fight for boxing fans and one that may happen one day down the track.
You are attending the IBF convention in the USA soon. Will you be meeting with promoters to hopefully organize your next fight?
I’m honored that the IBF has invited me to attend the 2022 convention and I look forward to seeing what may present during my time in the United States.
What would you like to say to the readers of Fightnews.com®?
Thank you all for the ongoing support over the years. Boxing fans are truly the greatest fans in the world. We fighters are nothing without the fans so thank you, I appreciate you all. Follow my life’s journey @billydib