Earlier tonight in front of a fiercely partisan crowd, Sydney’s Billy Dib swept the cards against veteran Jorge Lacierva to capture the vacant IBF featherweight title at Olympic Park Sports Centre in Homebush, Australia.
Building upon the momentum of 11 appearances without a loss following a failed bid to lift the WBO crown in 2008, Dib was buoyed by a supportive hometown audience for his clash with 33 year old American based Mexican Lacierva.
Lacierva sought to leverage the experience gained over two previous world title bouts against his 25 year old foe, but the visitor was unable to exert the kind of pressure he tried to bring to bear upon Dib.
Dib was far quicker of foot and hand, rarely allowing Lacierva to land a punch of significance during the seasoned Atlanta man’s many haymaker attempts.
The slick Aussie stylist hung back during the bout’s first half, content to counter effectively and tie up Lacierva whenever his rival managed to close distance, although Lacierva was the busier man during many of the rounds.
There was a fair bit of wrestling and roughhousing on tap as Lacierva lost a point for hitting on a break and the action had to be halted when Dib landed a blow below the belt.
Dib avoided the kind of brawl Lacierva tried to force and began to administer a boxing lesson in the later rounds, beating the Mexican to the punch in a majority of the exchanges.
After 12 rounds were completed, Dib was awarded the IBF crown on scores of 119-109, 118-109 and 115-112.
Dib moves to 32-1 (19), while Lacierva not stands at 39-8-6 (26) after his seven fight win streak is snapped.
The undercard was highlighted by a Fight of the Year candidate at light middleweight as Zac Awad, 17-1-1 (6), of Sydney upset seasoned former Australian middleweight king Junior Talipeau,17-2-1 (5), of Kogarah by margins of 116-114, 116-114 and 116-113 to win a unanimous decision.