By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photo: Werner Kalin
IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib talks to Fightnews to say he is defending against Luis Franco soon and is also interested in moving up to 130 pounds later. He also talks about sparring session with Celestino Cabarello and picks Mikey Garcia to defeat Orlando Salido on January 19.
Your mandatory defense against Maurcio Munoz is due soon. Has any date been set?
Munoz declined a chance at a world title. Crazy. I’m now fighting next in line Luis Franco who lost in a controversial fight to Munoz. 50 Cent will be promoting the event.
Will this bout be in the USA or Australia?
Indications are that the fight will be held in the US. I’m just waiting on confirmation from my promoter.
Your promoter 50 Cent wants to give you maximum exposure in 2013. Can you advise of any potential matchups for Billy Dib?
Well I hear Nonito Doniare wants to move up to featherweight in 2013. I would be more than happy to give him a shot at my title straight up. He’s one of the best fighters out there pound-for-pound and I would love to test my skills against a fighter of his calibre.
Fellow Australian and IBF rated Joel Brunker has expressed interest in challenging you. He is promoted by Gary Shaw. Would you be interested? Do you see Brunker as a dangerous opponent?
If it makes dollars, it makes sense to me. Brunker is a solid fighter. I also have a good working relationship with his manager Angelo Di Carlo who is an honorable man. So who knows? Let them make me an offer I can’t refuse and it’s on.
IBF #4 Celestino Cabarello is a former world champion. Would you be interested in giving him a shot at your title? What is your opinion of his ability? You sparred him a few years ago. Is that correct?
As I said before, I’d be happy to fight anybody just as long as the deal is fair. At the end of the day, boxing is my full time job and my business. About the sparring, Celestino has been making a song and dance about our sparring together. He believes he got the better of me that day and I genuinely believe that I got the better of him. At the end of the day it was a sparring session. In a fight I truly believe I would KO him.
WBO 126lb champion Orlando Salido will defend against Mikey Garcia on January 19. Who wins that fight? Would you be interested in challenging the winner in unification bout?
Of course. Any champ would jump at the opportunity to unify. Garcia would be a hell of a challenge for me.
You have expressed interest in moving to 130 pound division. Yuriorkis Gambia is also managed by 50 Cent so a bout with him would not happen, but would you challenge Juan Carlos Salgado for IBF 130 title?
Gamboa is my teammate, so I wouldn’t risk team harmony by challenging him. I’m excited to be working with him in the future. He’s an unbelievable talent. If I move up in weight I’d be happy to face any of the other champs.
(Photo: Former champs Barry Michael and Jeff Fenech with Billy)