By Adrian Warren
Australia's IBF Featherweight boxing world champion Billy Dib delivered on his promise to knockout first challenger Alberto Servidei with a spectacular first round KO on Saturday night.
Dib jumped his opponent from the start, backing him up and catching him several times before landing a crunching left rip to the body.
Servidei, who had a 31-0-2 record, never looked like getting up, with the fight at the Sydney Olympic Park Centre called off after just 2min 38sec.
Dib improved to 33-1 with 20 KOs.
The Australian produced some fearsome body shots early in the round and Servidei fell on one previous occasion, but American referee Pete Podgorski ruled it a slip.
"We're here to make a statement, this is what boxing's about," Dib said in his post-fight interview.
"(My trainer) Billy Hussein requested of me to come out here and do what I had to do to win the fight ... and set the stage and let the featherweights know who the real champion is."
Dib called out Indonesia's WBA Featherweight Super world champion Chris John, widely recognised as the best in the division after more than eight years as that organisation's champion.
"Chris, I know you're watching this. I've got a lot of respect for you," Dib said.
"You're the WBA champion, I'm the IBF world champion, now let's see who the real champion is."
The Dib camp had already commenced negotiations with the management of John, who is trained by Australian Craig Christian and will defend his WBA title against Ukrainian Stanyslav Merdov in Perth on November 30.
Dib looked sharp from the start, connecting with some good left jabs.
Servidei barely landed an effective punch and found himself on the back foot most of the time.
Dib, who successfully switched from counterpuncher in his last fight to aggressor against Servidei, heaped praise on Hussein for his influence.
"Billy Hussein is the smartest trainer in the world," Dib said.
"When we fought for the world title we had a plan. That's why I've got the title.
"We're making our first defence and we're winning by first round KO (against a fighter with a) undefeated record."