Ryan Songalia

Dibb defends IBF featherweight title with first-round KO of Servidei


IBF featherweight titleholder Billy Dib needed just two minutes and 38 seconds to blow through his first title challenger Alberto Servidei at the Homebush Sports Centre in his hometown of Sydney, Australia on Saturday night. Now he’s eyeing bigger game.

Dib (33-1, 26 knockouts) was in complete control from the opening bell as Servidei – who despite having a record of 31-0-2 had never fought anyone of note – never found the confidence to throw a meaningful punch.

Any hopes of a competitive bout went out the window when near the two minute mark Dib let go a right cross that caused a delayed reaction knockdown. Referee Pete Podgorski ruled it a slip, however.

Sensing vulnerability, Dib opened up against an entirely defensive opponent before placing a picture-perfect left hook to the body on Servidei. The challenger took the count sitting on his butt, never making an effort to rise.

“I just went out there to make a statement and to prove that I have world class knockout power,” said Dib, 26, of the dominant performance. “This preparation was always about dominating using an aggressive style and I just implemented the game plan my trainer Billy Hussein came up with.”

Dib, who is ranked number 10 at featherweight by The Ring ratings, continued to beat the drum for a showdown with the division’s longest reigning titlist, WBA champ Chris John of Indonesia. John, 45-0-2 (22 KO), is scheduled to defend his title against Ukrainian trialhorse Stanyslav Merdov on November 30 in Western Australia.

The location provides Dib with an ideal platform to issue his challenge.

“Chris John is a great champion, and I truly believe that a fight between me and him would be the biggest fight in the southern hemisphere,” said Dib. “I want to prove that I am the best featherweight in the world and beating Chris John will help me do that. My team is working hard to negotiate with his team and as soon as he is ready to step up to the plate we will get it on.”

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