By Adrian Warren
Billy Dib has welcomed a rare early start and morning fight when he attempts to reclaim the IBF featherweight world title in Macau on Saturday.
Dib and Russian title holder Evgeny Gradovich, the main support bout to the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight, have been told they must be in their dressing rooms by about 8am.
They are luckier than some of the other undercard fighters, who could be in the ring as early as 7.30am.
The early start is due to the requirements of officials and the fact that some of the fights are being televised live to the United States market.
"We've got to be in the dressing room at 8am, two to three hours before you are ready to get into the ring, so the commission want you here that early," Dib's trainer Billy Hussein told AAP.
"He (Dib) seems to like the idea, he's really excited about getting up early, feeling fresh.
"He's actually happy because if you have to wait around all day, and it drags, it makes you tired."
An anticipated pre-midday fight time will be the earliest of Dib's nine-year professional career.
"We're used to training in the morning every day (in Australia)," said Hussein.
"His sleeping pattern (in China) has been the same, nothing's really affected him.
"He's been getting up sometimes at 5.30, 6am because we've got to get used to waking up early."
Dib (36-2, 21 KOs) has arrived in China a few days before California-based Gradovich, (17-0, 8 KOs), who took the IBF title from him in on a split points decision in Connecticut in March.
Hussein has already started Dib's taper following a three-month plus preparation and two hard distance fights earlier in the year.
"I don't want to overdo things, I want to keep him fresh," Hussein said.
"I'm expecting a fresher guy in the ring, a faster Billy Dib, a more explosive Billy Dib."
Tags: Billy Dib , Evgeny Gradovich , Dib-Gradovich , Dib vs Gradovich