By Adrian Warren
IBF featherweight boxing world champion Billy Dib emerged with wounds after battling his way to a deserved unanimous points win over tough Mexican Juan Antonio Rodriguez in a super featherweight non-title bout.
Watched by NSW premier Barry O'Farrell, Dib (35-1, 21 KOs) finished the 10-round contest in the Sydney suburb of Campsie marked around both eyes following some head clashes.
Rodriguez (21-4, 19 KO) tagged the Sydney fighter with some good shots in a desperate final round onslaught, but the Australian won the judges' favor by scores of 97-94, 98-92, 99-92.
Dib warmed to his task as the fight progressed, using his quicker hands to tag the Mexican with some eye-catching punches.
He was particularly dominant in the middle rounds, landing some crisp right hands and combination punches.
Rodriguez produced some good single shots, particularly in the third and fourth rounds and sometimes backed Dib up on the ropes, but couldn't sustain pressure on the Australian, who displayed good movement for most of the fight.
"I had to graft for that win but I worked extremely hard in the gym and that was how I was able to get through that fight,'' Dib told AAP.
WBO third-ranked featherweight Joel Brunker stayed in contention for a shot at Dib with a unanimous eight-round points win over Mexican Riovalle (34-14-1, 24 KOs).
Brunker (23-0, 13 KOs) won by margins of one six and seven points despite suffering a cut around the right eye in the sixth round, while Riovalle was deducted a point for a low blow.
Billel Dib won the Australian super featherweight tile with a unanimous 10-round points win over Hwi-Jong Kim (5-6, 1 KO) and unbeaten super featherweight Paul Fleming improved his record to 15-0 with a second round stoppage of Kongdej Sithrajtrakan
In Melbourne, Australians Susie Ramadan and Lauryn Eagle each won her world title bout.
Ramadan (23-1, 8 KOs) took the WBC bantamweight tile from Thailand's Usanakorn Kokietgym (11-2, 10 KOs) on a ten-round decision, winning by two scores of of 99-91 and one of 97-93.
Media personality and former water skiing champion Eagle (3-2-1, 2 (KOs) enhanced her boxing career by winning the vacant WBF super featherweight title with a fifth-round stoppage of Thailand's Kiangsak Sithsaithong (9-1, 4 KOs).Tags: Billy Dib