Briton Amir Khan next fights Australian Billy Bib on July 12 in Jeddah for the vacant WBC International welterweight title after original opponent Neeraj Goyat withdrew following a car crash.
So BBN decided to dig up some fun facts on the Australian ahead of the historical bout with Khan in Saudi Arabia.
1. Born Bilal Dib on August 17, 1985 at Kogarah Hospital in Sydney, Australia, to a Palestinian mother and Lebanese father, he suffered from chronic asthma and spent the first six months of his life in an incubator fighting the condition.
His parents emigrated to Australia from Lebanon before he was born and owned a greengrocer in Engadine, a suburb of South Sydney.
2. His brother Jihad is famous in his own right for being a politician. He was the first Muslim MP to represent the Lakemba seat in New South Wales in 2015. Prior to that, he spent seven years as a Principal for a notoriously tough high school, transforming it into a respected community facility.
3. Young Billy was picked on at school for being a different colour and religion, and his frail breathing difficulties made him easy pickings for school bullies. His father encouraged him to take part in team sports to fit in with the other kids, which worked and he ended up playing rugby and befriending the bullies, some of whom he still counts as good friends today.
4. He took up boxing at the age of 12 to try to overcome his asthmatic condition at the local Police and Community Youth Club. He soon began to compete in amateur competitions and went on to be crowned Australian national champion three times, winning 98 from 133 bouts.
5. He was selected to train at the Australian Institute of Sport but a motorcycle accident hindered his training for the Athens 2004 Olympics. Born to Lebanese parents, he was offered to join Lebanon’s Olympic team but declined stating that it wouldn’t feel right if ever drawn against Australia and having to fight against his home country.
6. After missing out on the Olympics, Dib travelled to Sheffield England to train with Prince Naseem, who was the biggest influence in convincing him to turn professional.
7. ‘Billy The Kid’ debuted in July 2004 and won his first 21 professional contests, 12 by stoppage, culminating in claiming the vacant IBO World featherweight title in August 2008.
8. When training with Mike Tyson in the States, he met Shane Mosley, which led to him signing with Golden Boy Promotions.
9. Billy signed a three-year contract with 50 Cent’s promotional stable SMS Promotions in 2012 and publicly stated it was the worst decision of his career, stating he was ripped off by ‘Fiddy’ and owed seven figure sums. His rant led to an ongoing argument with the notorious rapper, who has since filed for bankruptcy.
10. After losing his challenge to Takashi Miura for the WBC World super-featherweight title in May 2015 in Japan, he then devastatingly lost his wife Sara to cancer a few months later in September that year, who was just 21 at the time.
He has since remarried to Sarah Shaweesh in 2016.
IBF Australasian Super Featherweight Title (2016)
PABA Super Featherweight Title (2014)
IBF World Featherweight Title (2011)
IBF Pan Pacific Featherweight Title (2010)
Interim WBC Youth World Featherweight Title (2009)
IBF Pan Pacific Youth Featherweight Title (2009)
IBO Super Featherweight Title (2008)
IBO Asia Pacific Featherweight Title (2006)
IBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight Title (2005)
Australian Super Featherweight Title (2004)