Former IBF featherweight world champion Billy “The Kid” Dib has vowed to return to the US and win back his world title, whatever it takes. The Australian counter-puncher parted ways with his title at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut on March 1 via a 12 round split decision loss to Russian banger Evgeny Gradovich.
Dib’s second career loss to a man with only 15 professional fights was one few saw coming – and one that devastated him.
“Yeah look, to be honest it’s been very, very hard to deal with. It was obviously a very disappointing moment for me.
“But you know what? In 1980, a great fighter by the name of Sugar Ray Leonard fought against Roberto Duran, and decided to go head to head with Duran. Duran happened to get the nod because Leonard fought Duran’s fight. Then in the rematch, Leonard came out and boxed like a fox, did what he does and bedazzled Duran to get the win.”
Fortunately for Dib, a clause in the contract which he and promoter 50 Cent drew up guarantees a rematch with Gradovich - the only issue is when. The Russian is looking to make the first defence of the IBF belt in June, against an as yet unnamed opponent – although one would assume it will likely be mandatory challenger Mauricio Munoz of Argentina. If that fight were to go ahead, Dib may be waiting until November to get his rematch.
For his part, Dib doesn’t care who he fights. If Munoz wins the belt from Gradovich, then that’s who he’ll be going after.
“Definitely, I’ll fight whoever has the belt. And I can tell the fans and all the people around Gradovich that regardless of who wins, when I do get the belt back, then the first guy I’m giving an opportunity to is the Russian. He won the world title, and I congratulate him on that. He fought the fight of his life. And I knew that was going to happen, I said that during the lead up. And you know what? I’ve got no excuses. But I promise you this; his reign as world champ will be short lived.
“There are plenty of options for me as a recent world title holder. But obviously I have a rematch clause with Gradovich so I could wait around, but I choose to stay active and get back in the ring with somebody who is credible, and somebody who is going to give the fans a great fight.”