Something was missing, so Billy Dib began asking around in December last year.
The former two-time boxing champion was restless despite being just four months into retirement .
Billy the Kid wasn’t happy. He needed to box again.
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So, after some serious moments of introspection, he started putting the feelers out.
“Would it be silly for me to consider a comeback?” he asked.
“I really feel like I can mix it with the best.”
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From the tone of the messages, he’d already made up his mind.
Not long after the new year, he returned to the gym, and in April he had his comeback fight in front of a small but raucous crowd in Hurstville.
The return bout was everything he needed, but only served to whet his appetite for more.
He stayed in the gym and started asking about bigger fights against well-known opponents for even bigger pay checks.
There were a few names on his hit-list, but with a couple of weight classes and eight kilograms separating them, Amir Khan wasn’t one of them.
But he did land a spot on Khan’s undercard for the British fighter’s bout in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Dib was preparing to fight an Indonesian opponent on a card that featured Hughie Fury – Tyson’s cousin, and a former heavyweight title contender. The card will also feature Auckland-based heavyweight Hemi Ahio, who trains at the same gym as UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and fellow rising boxer Junior Fa .
It seemed like the perfect set-up. Dib would get a fight – and hopefully an impressive win – with the eyes of the boxing world on him. Bigger bouts would surely follow.
Then Khan’s opponent was in a car crash and was forced out of the July 13 bout.
The whole card was in jeopardy, so Khan’s representatives reached out to Dib .