By Chris LaBate
The management team of IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib have refused to accept a $700,000 demand for a unification bout with WBA king Chris John. Speaking with The Daily Telegraph, John's adviser Sampson Lewkowicz saw no reason for a fight with Dib, based on the boxer's past performance in the United States against Steven Luevano. And, few American fans are familiar with Dib outside of the Luevano bout.
John makes $500,000 a fight in his native Indonesia. A fee of $700,000 would be required for a unification in the United States or Dib's backyard of Australia.
"Because what does Billy Dib bring to the table?," Lewkowicz said.. "I really like the guy but he means absolutely nothing here in America. He talks about changing his style, of becoming more exciting, but you can't take the stripes from a zebra. It's why networks like HBO won't touch him. If Billy beats Chris it means everything to him. But if Chris beats Billy ... with all respect it means absolutely nothing."
"So if Team Dib want us in their backyard it'll require a lot more than [500,000]. Unfortunately the only fighters who make that sort of money in Australia are named Green and Mundine. But let's wait and see what they come up with. Billy knows my number."
Dib's manager, Michael Karagiannis, rejected the idea of paying John $700,000 and won't even match the champions usual purse of $500,000.
"Where else has Chris John got to go?" Karagiannis asked. "He says Billy is a nothing proposition yet Billy has the IBF belt. It won't happen for $700,000. Won't happen for $500,000. But does Chris want to retire with one belt or will he have a go at winning two?"