By Adrian Warren
IBF featherweight boxing champion Billy Dib says the cancellation of his world title defence in the United States is not a setback and he wants to explore the possibilities of fighting in the Middle East.
Dib was due to make the third defence of his title against unbeaten Puerto Rican professional Jayson Velez at New York's famous Madison Square Garden on December 1.
However, Dib - who is managed by American rapper 50 Cent - has had his fight pulled from the card compiled by Miguel Cotto Promotions and Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.
"Promoters and networks in America carry heavy agendas and have different interests. Unfortunately for me, I got caught up in all their politics and missed a spot on a big card," Dib said.
The fight against Velez was meant to be Dib's opportunity to showcase his new, more aggressive style to American fight fans four years after his most recent fight there.
"I don't consider it to be a setback - America is not everything to me," Dib said.
"Where one opportunity closes, another one opens up. I'm the champion of the world and, as such, I will dictate the terms of my career."
A mandatory defence against Argentine Mauricio Munoz looms as Dib's next bout, but he is keen to show his skills to audiences beyond Australia and America.
"We want to explore fighting out of Arabia. I am of the firm belief that there is a lucrative market over there just waiting for me to tap into," said Dib, who is of Lebanese heritage.
"It will take some time to establish myself in the Middle East but, with the help of 50 Cent, I believe we can do special things in that part of the world.
"I'm heading in that direction once my mandatory against Munoz has been done.
"In terms of fights, I know it's a cliche but I really want the best out there.
"My number one target right now is (unbeaten American) Adrien Broner. I would love to fight him and someone like (multi-world title winner) Nonito Donaire in the future.
"I truly believe that I have transformed myself into one of the most exciting fighters in boxing with an outstanding KO record."
While no date or venue has been finalised for his next fight, Dib won't be taking a break from training.
"I'm a full-time athlete. I don't believe in breaks or off-seasons," Dib said.
"I'm dedicated to my sport. I have been working really hard on different things right now to improve my ring craft."