By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Former IBO 130 pound champion, Bill Dib, talks to Fightnews and states he is looking forward to his nationally televised clash with Japanese opponent Kenichi Yamaguchi (15-1-2, 4 KOs) at Luna Park, Sydney, Australia on July 9, and mentions he is ready to challenge any of the world featherweight title holders including IBF champion Cristobel Cruz and also WBA ruler Chris John.
You will clash with Japanese featherweight Kenichi Yamaguchi on July 9 at Luna Park, Sydney. Have you seen him box on tape? What will be your fight plan?
Yes, I’m fighting the ‘Machine Gun’ Kenichi Yamaguchi from Japan and from what we’ve seen on tape, he really endorses the proud reputation Japan holds for boxing warriors. He comes forward in a high intensity and non-stop manner and that’s great for the fans who love constant action. In saying that, Billy Hussein and I have formulated a plan to not only combat Yamaguchi, but to finish him off impressively. The only Japanese I know is ‘sayonara’ and I plan to say to him on the night!
The Dib vs Yamaguchi will be televised nationally on channel ten HD on free to air television. You are getting good national exposure. What can the boxing fans around Australia expect to see?
The ‘SuperBoxer’ series and it’s exposure through Network ten’s 1HD is a wonderful shot in the arm for Australian boxing, and as Mr Lewis (Johnny Lewis – Legendary trainer and ‘guest’ commentator of ‘SuperBoxer’) said at the launch, it’s the biggest thing for him in boxing in over twenty years, so that in itself is the biggest endorsement.
For me personally, it’s a wonderful opportunity for my family and friends to see me live in their living rooms, through ‘free-to-air’ and I certainly plan to put on an explosive performance for them.
You were focussed on a bout with IBF featherweight champion Cristobel Cruz. Is he still on your radar? Are you confident you have the skills to defeat him? Are you interested in any other featherweight world champions?
I would love a shot at Cristobel Cruz and he’s definitely still on our radar. My management have certainly made our intentions known on several occasions to Cruz’s team, and hopefully it’s a bout that could be made in the future. Am I confident I could beat him? In one word, absolutely! With the greatest respect to Cruz or any featherweight in the division, I believe I have the skills to more than match them.
In relation to other featherweight champions, I would dearly love to fight Luevano again as I know that wasn’t the right Billy Dib there that night in Atlantic City. If I was to get another shot at him, he would see a completely different fighter, the real Billy Dib!
Chris John is one who I respect. His record I would love a crack at, but to be frank, it’s a bout that will probably never get made. Chris has had his recent bout with Rocky Juarez cancelled for whatever reason, and without being too sceptical, it’s not like he doesn’t have form for it previously and I doubt whether they would want to fight me. At least I can say I would turn up for it! Chris must be learning from his stable mate – (No) Action Jackson who cancels regularly!
Chris’s management knows I’m here and that we’re interested, but as I said, I don’t expect my manager’s phone to be ‘ringing off the hook’ from Team John! Chris might have had a re-think about campaigning in the US after Rocky Juarez’s first performance against him and he might slip back to dodging bullets in Indonesia again as he’s done previously with his defences! Better watch out Chris, besides Juarez, Gamboa’s also looking for you also as WBA Interim champ, so there ‘credentialed’ challengers lining up from everywhere for you!
Promoter Fidel Tukel has faith in your ability and wants you to get that world title opportunity. This must give confidence in achieving your ambition in winning a major body world championship with the support of Fidel. Your thoughts?
Big congrats to Fidel and his team at Empire Promotions for bringing the ‘SuperBoxer’ series to fruition and my personal thanks to Fidel for his support and belief in my abilities to not only showcase on this upcoming show, but overall in my career. I know he believes in me, the same as my team do and hopefully this bears the right fruit in the future with another world-title shot and victory.
You have been boxing former world IBF 140 pound champion Lovemore Ndou (who is meeting Phillip Ndou for IBO title in July) in the gym in preparation for the July 9 bout. Have the Ndou sparring sessions been beneficial? Who else have you been boxing?
What price do you put on experience? Lovemore is the ultimate professional and his experience, his ringcraft and the ability to tap into this with sparring and training alongside has been extremely valued. As you noted, he has a big bout coming up for the IBO Welterweight title, and the ‘other’ Ndou, – Phillip is in for a hard fight and to be frank, Lovemore’s ready to put another belt alongside his previous titles! My thanks to Lovemore for his work and best wishes to him for the fight.
I have also done work for this fight with Vic Dharchinyan before he left for the US, as well as Bobby Antonakos, Daniel Iannazzo and Mick Shaw. A big thanks to all the guys.
Future hall-of-famer Shane Mosley is your good friend. Fidel Tukel arranged for him to be at ringside when you boxed last March in capturing the IBF pan pacific youth title by defeating Davey Browne in what is regarded as one of the best fights for 2009. Will Shane be there on July 9? Tell me about your friendship with this great champion.
Thank you for the sentiments regarding the Browne fight. As I’ve said previously, it’s certainly a bout I enjoyed and was my first victory over an undefeated fighter. It’s been well documented the friendship of Shane and myself and great that he was here for that fight, however from when we last spoke, I know he had commitments back home which would prevent him from being here for this fight. He told me he wants to know the result straight away and footage sent to him asap!
Nathan Butler is your manager and is doing a great job in getting your world title opportunity. Tell me about Nathan. How long has been your manager?
Nathan has been with me post-Leuvano and has done a great job of which I’m extremely appreciative. We work really well together and he’s opened me up to some new exposure opportunities and sponsors outside of the ring also. We sit down every couple of days for a catch-up and coffee and discuss upcoming developments and he’s 100% supportive of my career. Nathan’s always in consultation with various promoters both here and abroad and whilst I can’t say too much at this stage, we do have some big developments brewing in relation to fights which Nathan is across and we will announce shortly.
Your trainer Billy Hussein has trained WBC/IBF/ WBA super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan and also world title challengers Nedal and Hussy Hussein. He is regarded as one of Australia’s leading trainers. Tell me about your relationship with Billy?
You hit the nail right there – look at the quality of fighters Billy’s worked with in the past, including the likes of Danny Green also. Billy has worked with pretty much the cream of Australian boxing talent in one capacity or another and out of this fight and our future, I hope Billy’s reputation and endorsement as a great trainer goes to another level again. He really is a genius trainer in my eyes and I enjoy very much working under him.
He has taken me after my loss to Luevano, we clicked from the outset working together and he’s moulded me back into a fighter who can go with any featherweight out there. As per your comments earlier, I would like to think people saw a different Billy Dib in the Browne fight and I can promise the fans out there they will see another level again when I step out against Yamaguchi. Believe me when I say this though, Billy and I, and for that matter Nathan also, aren’t finished and will not be settled until we win a world title together.
Best of luck Billy on July 9th!
To all my fans and supporters who have wished me luck for the upcoming fight, thank you!