Billy Dib to make Melbourne debut on October 31st

BILLY Dib’s climb up the super featherweight ratings will gain further traction on October 31st, when the former IBF featherweight champion faces upset-minded Indonesian Ruben Manakane from The Melbourne Pavilion.

Dib, 29, and Manakane, 21, will collide over twelve rounds for the vacant PABA super featherweight title.

The fight, which will be promoted by Melbourne kickboxing identity Tarik Solak in conjunction with Billy Hussein, will aim to boost Dib’s steady rise towards another tilt at world championship honours at some point next year.

While Manakane (14-11-1, 9 KOs) is of a lower standard than Dib’s most recent opponents, the Indonesian visitor will look to better his credible performances against former world title challengers AJ Banal and Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat.

Having fought abroad for the best part of four fights over the course of two years, Dib (37-3, 21 KOs) is relishing the opportunity to make his Melbourne debut, having fought all over the world in a distinguished professional career.

“The last time I boxed in Melbourne, I was sixteen years of age at the national titles,” said Dib in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “The opportunity came about when I heard Tarik Solak and Billy Hussein discussing it,”

“I mentioned that I’d love to fight back in Australia, so Billy and Tarik were like let’s do it. After my brother and manager Emaid got clearance from the team at SMS and 50 Cent, we decided that the next stop would be Melbourne.”

Dib was respectful in his analysis of Manakane, who will be looking to earn a career-best scalp in the form of the Sydney-based Dib, who is currently signed to US promotional outfit SMS Promotions. Dib was also quick to signal his intent to challenge for title honours next year, a plan that will be set into motion, beginning with a win over Manakane this month.

“I know that he is currently ranked fourth by the PABA and that he has eight wins from his last tens outings,” Dib explained. “He stretched world-class Filipino AJ Banal the full distance a few years back too. He is only twenty-one years of age, so I’m expecting him to come out fast and do all he can to cease the moment.”

“I never take any of my opposition lightly and I know that Manakane stands in the way of my journey to another world championship. One step at a time.”

“After being involved in the sport of boxing for so long, I now understand that it’s a business and not just a sport,” Dib continued. “It’s all about strategic planning,”

“We have had several discussions with WBA, WBO and IBF officials about this fight for the PABA crown. It will definitely help elevate my rankings across the board. The plan is to face the necessary opposition to work my way into a mandatory position with one of the prestigious crowns.”

Having dabbled in multiple divisions since making his professional debut in 2004, Dib made his return to the super featherweight division in July, unanimously outpointing durable Mexican Alberto Garza in Connecticut.

Despite having only fought as a fully fledged super featherweight a handful of times, Dib is of the belief that he can challenge any of the titleholders in the super featherweight division at any given moment. However, Dib understands that it will take time to build towards an eventual title tilt.

“I honestly feel that I could face any of the super featherweight champions tomorrow, but realistically we may be looking at six to twelve months,” said Dib. “I don’t just plan on getting a world title shot, I plan on winning another crown.”

“As I said it’s all strategic planning and patience.”

“I have to give a big thanks to all the fans as well as Team BTK for their continued love and support,” Dib said in closing. “Especially for my brother Emaid, who has never left my side since day dot.”

“Big ups to Ciran Jordan who has recently joined the BTK train and also a big thanks to my strength and conditioning coach Clay Cook as well as my boxing trainers Billy and Hussy Hussein. Last but not least a big thank you to my amazing sponsors, without them none of this would be possible.”

Photo: Emily Harney

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