By Ryan Songalia
Newly crowned IBF featherweight champ Billy Dib says he is planning to make his first voluntary title defense in November or December, with his sights set on unification.
The 24-year-old year Dib (32-1, 19 KO) of Sydney, Australia won the vacant belt last week with a unanimous decision over Jorge Lacierva. The fight wasn't televised in Australia, which Dib claims was due to "politics." Dib says that the TV situation has been figured out for his next fight, which will be in Australia.
"We will be looking at a top 15 contender to provide a great fight for the fans to repay them for the great support I have received in winning the IBF title," Dib said.
"I would really like to face [WBA featherweight champ] Chris John in a unification bout. The fight would be massive in Australia."
John of Jakarta, Indonesia is unbeaten at 45-0-2 (22 KO) and has held the title since 2004. The 31-year-old John is coming off a decision win over countryman Daud Cino Yordan and last competed Australia in 2005, when he stopped Tommy Browne in 10 rounds.
Dib hopes to return to America for a future title defense, in part to redeem his image stateside following his lone loss to Steven Luevano in 2008.
"I'd love to once again fight in America to showcase my skills and show the changed fighter that I am, but Australia has been so good to me and we would be very proud to once again put on a good show for the Australian fans," said Dib.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News and the Filipino Reporter newspaper in New York City. He can be reached at [email protected] . An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com . Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ryansongalia .