Australian featherweight contender Billy “The Kid” Dib (36-2, 21 KOs) gave his promoter, famed rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, an early present on last week’s edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights, winning a hard fought 10-round decision from local favorite “Machine Gun” Mike Oliver (25-4, 8 KOs), in the “50 Cent’s Birthday Bash” main event at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
The originally scheduled main event on SMS Promotions’ first solo event, between undefeated North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Association (NABA) light heavyweight champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (12-0, 8 KOs) and former world super middleweight title challenger Allan “Ghost Dog” Green (32-4, 22 KOs), was abruptly cancelled the day of the fight when Green was taken to the hospital with food poisoning.
Dib vs. Oliver moved up from co-feature to main event. Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) World featherweight champion Dib, fighting for the first time since losing a 12-round split decision and his IBF title belt this past March 1 to Evgeny Gradovich, also in the main event on ESPN Friday Night Fights, rebounded with a workmanlike performance against a game Oliver, former International Boxing Organization (IBO) super bantamweight titlist.
Rated No. 4-rated in the world by the IBF, as well as ranked No. 7 by The Ring Magazine and No. 15 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), Dib has altered his style in the past year to become a much more aggressive and entertaining fighter. He was deducted two points for low blows in the second and third rounds to account for the majority decision scoring (96-92, 96-92, 94-94).
Positioned for another world title shot, Dib plans to invoke a rematch clause in his contract with Gradovich for the Australian’s next fight, if Gradovich successfully defends his title July 27 against challenger Maurico Javier Munoz (26-3, 12 KOs) in Macao.
Unbeaten Louisiana lightweight prospect Mark “Too Sharp” Davis (17-0, 5 KOs), who captured gold medals at the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Championships, fought for the first time since November 12, 2011. He shook off rust and took advantage of fighting in the ESPN Friday Night Fights co-feature, winning an eight-round decision against Nigerian veteran “Super” Robert Osiobe (14-6-4, 6 KOs).
On the undercard, all decided by four-round decisions, Puerto Rican welterweight Emmanuel “Pirata” DeJesus (5-0, 4 KOs) kept his perfect record intact versus Rikardo Smith (6-4, 1 KO), Cincinnati super lightweight Donte Strayhorn (2-1) defeated Hartford’s Oscar Diaz (0-2), New Haven (CT) featherweight Nate Green (4-0, 1 KO) shutout Micah Branch (1-7-1), of Cincinnati, New Haven welterweight Jimmy Williams (4-0, 2 KOs) dominated all four rounds against Saul Almeida (0-2), of Framingham (MA), and New Haven super welterweight middleweight David Wilson (1-0) won his pro debut against Woburn’s (MA) Rodrigo Almeida.