Lem Satterfield

Dib-Gradovich on March 1?

IBF featherweight titleholder Billy Dib is being targeted for a March 1 bout against Evgeny Gradovich, according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and IBF public relations director Jeanette Salazar.

“The fight is not made yet,” said Arum. “But we’re trying to make it.”

Dib (35-1, 21 knockouts) was “disappointed and shocked” by the news of the withdrawal of Luis Franco (11-1, 7 KOs) from a scheduled bout that was slated for the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Conn.

Dib, who will be making the third defense of his belt, fights under rapper-turned-boxing-promoter Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s SMS Promotions and will be in his first fight in America since his lone professional defeat to Steven Luevano in 2008.

Gradovich (15-0, 8 KOs), who is 26, is coming off December’s seventh-round knockout victory over Willie Villanueva.

Salazar said Arum has notified IBF Championships Chairman Lindsay Tucker and IBF President Daryl Peoples of the potential for Dib-Gradovich.

“Gradovich has fought on a number of our cards in California,” said Arum. “He’s a crowd-pleasing fighter because he’s an all-action fighter. The fans love him.”


Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com


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