By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com was advised by several sources who are close to the situation, that IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib (35-1, 21KOs) is potentially being replaced as the opponent for undefeated contender Jayson Velez (19-0, 14KOs).
The fight was being targeted for December 1 at New York's Madison Square Garden, but there are several issues going on in the background. The event is being headlined by a Showtime televised junior middleweight collision between former three division king Miguel Cotto and WBA "regular" 154-pound champion Austin Trout.
One source told BoxingScene that Showtime has an issue with Dib being part of the televised card. Although several years have passed, those in high authority still have fresh memories of the dreadful HBO televised fight between Dib and Steven Luevano in 2008 [Bernard Hopkins-Kelly Pavlik pay-per-view].
Other sources, with knowledge of situation, believe Dib's removal is the direct result of the escalating war of words between rapper/promoter 50 Cent and former friend Floyd Mayweather Jr. The two individuals were once close friends, but their relationship went sour over a business deal gone bad.
Over the last few days, Curtis Jackson [50 Cent] has engaged Mayweather in a war of words on Twitter. Jackson has also taken public shots at Golden Boy Promotions and their company president Oscar De La Hoya. Jackson's position wasn't helped when fighthype.com recently published a revealing handwritten letter to Mayweather. The letter was written by one of Jackson's associates, Tommy "Smalls" Summers, who pleaded with Mayweather to break his existing business relationships with Golden Boy and powerful adviser Al Haymon.
Dib is promoted by Jackson under a company called SMS Promotions.
However, Golden Boy and Haymon are working with Miguel Cotto Promotions on the December 1st event. Obviously, there is absolutely no reason for Golden Boy and Haymon to help Jackson secure a televised position for one of his fighters on a high profile event. And while Cotto Promotions is the lead promoter of the event, they have a very close working relationship with both Golden Boy and Haymon.
One source indicates that all of the involved parties are currently searching for a respectable replacement to fight Velez on the show.