By Adrian Warren
Newly crowned IBF featherweight world champion Billy Dib is eyeing a massive unification fight with superstar Chris John and looks set to lead a new Australian boxing boom, spearheaded by the little guys.
Dib's unanimous points win over Mexican Jorge Lacierva on Friday meant he joined Australian legends Jeff Fenech and Johnny Famechon in winning a world featherweight crown.
With Daniel Geale holding the IBF middleweight title, it is one of the few times Australia has simultaneously had two universally recognised world boxing champions.
Geale was among the crowd at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, who watched Dib dominate Lacierva with his speed and elusiveness.
"I feel really proud of the way that I fought, it was smart, it was a tactical fight and I did everything I had to do in the fight to secure another world champion for Australia," Dib told AAP on Saturday.
The Dib camp are looking at a voluntary defence in Australia in December, before a potential unification title clash with Indonesian John, widely regarded as the planet's premier featherweight after holding the WBA crown for the past seven years.
"Down the road you might see a unification clash in Australia between Billy Dib and Chris John, that's what everyone has got on the tip of their tongue," Dib said.
John, 31, (45-0-2) who has already made one successful title defence in Australia against Tommy Browne in 2005, is trained and managed by Perth's Craig Christian.
Within a few hours of Dib's victory, Christian was already sounding out the IBF champion's camp about a potential unification clash.
"It's going to happen, it's too good a fight for Australia not to happen," Dib's trainer Billy Hussein told AAP.
"We want to fight fighters in our region and Chris John is an amazing name and an amazing athlete.
"It would be a huge fight. He is a legend in the featherweight division."
Hussein believed Dib was leading an emerging group of lighter division Australians, who were poised to make a major mark on world boxing.
The group included a quartet of fighters who sparred with Dib in the leadup to the fight with Lacierva.
They are super featherweight Will Tomlinson, 25, (17-0-1, WBO No.3), featherweight Joel Brunker, 25, (19-0, WBO No.6) super bantamweight Daniel Iannazzo, 23, (20-1, WBO No.8) and super featherweight Paul Fleming, 23, (11-0).
"We're on a high right now in Australian boxing, if anyone tells me boxing is dead in Australia, they've got no idea what's going on," Hussein said.
"I've always promised that Australia is going to be one of the leading countries when it comes to the best fighters, we're on our way."Tags: Chris John , Billy Dib