Corey McConnell challenges Billy Dib, Dib responds

FRESH off the biggest win of his professional career, reigning WBC International champion and world-rated super featherweight Corey McConnell is chasing another marquee win.

With a credible WBC #27 world rating in hand, McConnell (14-1-1, 1 KO) is looking to strengthen his credentials by releasing a statement, where McConnell has respectfully challenged former IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib.

“This is one the best divisions in the country,” said McConnell in an official statement released by trainer GJ Walker. “The super featherweight division is stacked in Australia at the moment, with fighters like Dib Tomlinson, Asis, MacKenzie, Garlett, Fleming and myself,”

McConnell, 29, ended a short-lived retirement in August, shutting out durable Filipino Ryan Sermona to lift the coveted WBC International bauble. The win has breathed life into McConnell’s career, which would reach unseen heights if he indeed secured a lucrative opportunity to face Billy Dib.

“I personally wanted to fight Will Tomlinson before he signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s camp. We offered the fight to Kye MacKenzie – which his management declined – so in my eyes the best super featherweight in this country on paper is Billy Dib.”

“There’s no doubt that Dib has been the top Australian featherweight in the country and one of the best throughout the world,” McConnell added. “I want to fight the best and Billy has moved up in weight, so here I am,”

Dib, 29, now a fully fledged super featherweight, holds a WBO #6 and an IBF #10 world rating, making him an understandable target for any fighter look to establish themselves as a premier name in a stacked super featherweight division.

The former featherweight titlist was last in action only a handful of weeks ago, making a statement in his Melbourne debut with an impressive eight-round stoppage over Indonesian Ruben Manakane.

With both Dib and McConnell closing out the year with keep busy fights in December, McConnell is hoping to secure a fight with Dib on a televised card next year, ideally in February if the Gold Coast-based McConnell gets his way.

“There has been good talk between Dib’s camp and my team,” McConnell explained. “As always his team has been incredibly professional and with the upmost respect, this is an official challenge to Billy Dib for late February for a fight on Foxtel.”

When approached for his answer for the respectful challenge from McConnell, Dib (38-3, 22 KOs) was classy in his response and made his stance on the challenge and McConnell as a fighter evident, citing a need to challenge other fighters of similar experience in the form of super featherweight prospects Billel Dib, Paul Fleming and Luke Jackson.

“I’ve got to be honest,” said Dib in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “I feel very humbled by the way he has presented his challenge,”

“The honest truth is that I truly believe I’m on the verge of re-establishing myself and putting myself in the mix of the leading super featherweights in the world. I’m not taking anything away from Corey, but I truly believe that the fight is a mismatch,”

“I’d like to see him fight against my stablemates, Paul Fleming, Billel Dib and Luke Jackson,” Dib added. “I’m not sure that he has done anything in the sport to validate an opportunity to fight me.”



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