A fighter that was born with nitro glycerine in his hands and extraordinary talents, Billy “The Kid” Dib has gone on to capture the attention and imagination of the boxing world.
Born on the 17th of August, 1985 in Sydney, Australia, Billy took up boxing at the age of 12 in order to rid himself of his asthmatic condition. He also found that it was a useful way of learning how to defend himself after being a victim of bullying in primary school. Once Billy found his way to the local PCYC courtesy of his older brothers, he caught the attention of a trainer who told Billy that he had the skills to become something special. Billy dedicated himself to the sport and began boxing competitively in the amateur ranks.
He was soon appearing in amateur competitions, going on to win 98 of 113 fights. During this period he was Australian Champion on three occasions and gained selection to train at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
However, Billy’s preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games was hindered by a motorcycle accident and he missed selection for the Australian team. After turning down an offer to join Lebanon’s Olympic team, the country of his heritage, Billy found his way to Sheffield to train with Prince Naseem Hamed. Billy sent tapes of his amateur fights to Hamed who subsequently offered for Billy to join him in Sheffield to live and train with him. Hamed was able to convince Billy that his style was better suited to the professional ranks and on the advice of Hamed, Billy turned pro in August 2004, defeating Chad Roy Naidu in the 4th round.
He would go on to win his next 12 fights before travelling to the United States to train with Mike Tyson. While there, he met Sugar Shane Mosley and was consequently signed to Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. Billy went on to rack up 7 wins, 5 in America, before fighting Zolani Morali for the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) Super Featherweight World Championship on the 8th of July, 2008. He won by unanimous decision, capturing his first world title.
An unsuccessful bid for a second world title against the WBO Featherweight Champion, Steven Luevano, led to a career defining change, as he hired a new trainer in Billy Hussein. Under the tutelage of the well credentialed Billy Hussein, ‘The Kid’ completely revamped his boxing style to a more entertaining and fan friendly one. The change led to immediate results as Billy won his next 10 bouts on the trot with 8 of those wins coming by way of KO.
The impressive run led to a well earned title shot against experienced Mexican, Jorge Lacierva, for the IBF Featherweight Title at the Olympic Park Sports Centre in Homebush. Billy outboxed his opponent, winning a clear Unanimous Decision to fulfill his dream of becoming a full-fledged World Champion. Billy then defended his IBF Title twice in Australia before signing with rapper-cum-boxing promoter, 50 Cent and his SMS Promotions. Billy was given the chance to showcase his boxing ability in America against undefeated challenger, Evgeny Gradovich. Billy was upset by Gradovich on the night and lost his World Title in an all-out war which impressed the American public and boxing critics.
In his return bout following the loss, Billy fought once again in America against a highly touted former World Title challenger in Mike Oliver, earning a victory to set up a rematch with Evgeny Gradovich for the IBF Featherweight Title which with is up for grabs once again. Televised live on HBO PPV, the bout took place on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios in Macao, China on 23 November, 2013. Unfortunately, Billy suffered the worst defeat of his career when he was stopped by Gradovich in 9 rounds. Following the defeat, Billy vowed to reach the top once again, starting with a move up to the Super Featherweight limit.
Billy returned to the ring in his new division on 2 July, 2014 picking up a unanimous decision victory against former world title challenger, Alberto Garza. Billy fought another two times in 2014 in Australia, winning the vacant PABA Super Featherweight Title. The step up in weight seemed to re-energize Billy and it showed in his performances as he stopped both of his opponents.
The three victories in 2014 gave Billy a world ranking in three of the major sanctioning bodies, culminating in an opportunity to challenge for either the WBA Super Featherweight Title or the WBC Super Featherweight World Title. Billy and his management chose to challenge for the latter, signing to fight the reigning champion, Takashi Miura of Japan. Billy will fight Miura in Tokyo at the Ota-City General Gymnasium on 1 May, 2015, aiming to win the title that has alluded two of Australia’s greats, Jeff Fenech and Lionel Rose. The bout will be televised live on Australia’s leading free-to-air network, Channel 9, who have not televised a live World Title bout for over 25 years.