Billy Dib aiming to get back into the featherweight mix after FNF main event

Shareif Ziyadat

Billy Dib lost his IBF featherweight title in his last bout, but is looking to get back into the title race after he faces Mike Oliver in an ESPN Friday Night Fights main event on July 5.

The July 5 edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights is live event-billed as "50 Cent's Birthday Bash," but since we're talking about the actual boxing, let's talk about the main event, where Billy Dib will look to get back on track against veteran Mike Oliver, a former amateur standout whose pro career has been a relative flop.

Dib (35-2, 21 KO) dropped his IBF featherweight title last time out against Evgeny Gradovich, which was also a Friday Night Fights headline fight, on March 1. But the Aussie isn't going to sit around licking his wounds, getting back into the ring and hopefully back into the title mix at 126 pounds.

"I fought the wrong fight and paid the ultimate penalty," Dib said via press release. "It was really hard for me to lose my IBF belt, which meant so much to me, but the great news is I know I can win it back. I have to give Gradovich credit for his performance but it'll be a different outcome in a rematch. I will make a statement in this fight to let world featherweight champions know that Billy Dib is still here."

The 27-year-old Dib won't be facing a serious contender in Oliver (25-3, 8 KO), a fighter whose handspeed is seriously impressive, but hasn't proven to have much of a chin or much power in the pro ranks. Oliver, 33, hasn't even fought since October 2011, when he was predictably smashed by Juan Manuel Lopez in just two rounds, in a bounce-back effort for the Puerto Rican.

Dib, though, is taking him seriously and not worrying about his pro failures to date, also noting that Oliver is fighting in his hometown of Hartford, Connecticut.

"I know he was a great amateur champion who will enjoy fighting in front of his hometown fans," said Dib. "He's a crafty southpaw. People are going to see a rejuvenated Billy Dib, an aggressive fighter who is coming to fight Oliver. I was shown a lot of love and respect after my last fight in America and I will return that love with a devastating performance and knockout victory."

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