On Friday, March 1 at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, a special big edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will be held, showcasing a title defense for IBF Featherweight champion Billy Dib (35-1, 25 KO’s), putting his strap on the line against former Cuban Olympian Luis Franco (11-1, 7 KO’s).
The card will be put together by DiBella Entertainment and 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions. In the co-feature of the evening, former amateur standout and now top-ten rated junior middleweight contender Willie Nelson (19-1-1, 11KO’s) squares off against Michael Medina (26-3-2, 19KO’s) in a 10-round showdown for Nelson’s NABF junior middleweight title. The event on March 1st will mark 50’s boxing promotional debut. Both bouts will be aired on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET
The Dib vs. Franco fight is interesting, because while Franco is the number 3 contender in the IBF, he’s actually coming off a loss in an IBF title eliminator fight against Mauricio Javier Munoz. However, that loss wasn’t without controversy, as many believed that Franco had deserved the victory. The fight was held in Munoz’s homecountry or Argentina.
Nevertheless, Franco is a high-profile prospect, and anytime you get a title fight on Friday Night Fights, that’s a win for fight fans who are probably seeing a fight which they would not have seen on television otherwise. Fans have also been wanting to see more of Dib for quite some time now, and the winner of the fight will be in good position in the Featherweight division for much larger and more lucrative fights in the near future.
It will be interesting to see 50 Cent and SMS Promotions get to work here, although as mentioned, they’ll be working hand-in-hand with Lou DiBella and DiBella Entertainment to put the event on. Keep in mind, that when Yuriorkis Gamboa (pictured) fought on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 4, 50 Cent had a fighter on the card but wasn’t participating in promoting the event, besides lending his name and presence to the affair.
An official media conference call to announce the fight will be held before the end of the week.