Australian Billy Dib has exclusively revealed to ThaBoxingVoice that he will be returning to the United States for the first time in over four years to make the third defense of his IBF featherweight title.
“I’ve spoken to 50-Cent(Curtis Jackson), it’s official I’m defending my title on the under-card of (Miguel) Cotto vs. (Austin) Trout. I will be fighting Jayson Velez on the Showtime televised portion,” Dib announced.
The 27-year-old’s last bout on U.S shores saw him unsuccessfully challenge Steve Luevano for the WBO strap, the only blemish on his record. That was while the Aussie was contracted by GoldenBoy Promotions, after that defeat he returned to Superbox promotions in his homeland. In July, Dib became one of the first to sign with 50 Cent’s TMT promotions, this will be the debut fight of his four year contract.
Velez, a Puerto Rican prospect has a professional record of 19-0(14 KO’s). This will be massive step up for the 24-year-old as he is yet to face an opponent with a winning record. American audiences got a taste of what the Puerto Rican has to offer in August when he faced off against Dominican veteran Leivi Brea on a televised broadcast on the undercard of a Deontay Wilder main event. That night Velez overcame a slow start to out box his rival en route to a sixth round stoppage victory courtesy of a devastating left hook.
With a large fan base sure to be in attendance at Madison Square Garden on December 1st, the youngster will have to deal with the pressure of expectation from a nation desperate for their next big star after the recent failings of Juanma Lopez and Thomas Dulorme. Although not currently ranked in the top 15 by the IBF — something which will be rectified in the latest rankings — Velez possesses physical attributes which could give the champion a tough night with a 1 ½ inch height advantage and a 2 ½ inch reach advantage.
The card will also feature Daniel Jacobs against a yet to be announced opponent as he continues his comeback from life threatening illness.