FNF Preview: Dib vs. Gradovich

By Robert Ecksel on March 1, 2013
FNF Preview: Dib vs. Gradovich
DiBella said, "No one has laid out a red carpet for Curtis ‘50 Cent' Jackson." (Edward Diller)


In the main event on ESPN Friday Night Fights from the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, IBF featherweight champion Billy “The Kid” Dib (35-1,1NC, 21 KOs) puts his title on the line against IBF #11 ranked Evgeny Gradovich (15-0, 8 KOs).

Dib is getting more attention than he perhaps deserves. It isn’t that he hasn’t remade himself; he has, with the help of trainer Billy Hussein. It’s that Dib is being promoted, or co-promoted, by 50 Cent, who needs no introduction.

It seems that wherever 50 Cent goes the boxing press is likely to follow. They hang on to his every word, and fortunately for them, every word, with the exception of “and” and “the” may be worth hanging on to.

In one of the many press conferences leading up to this bout, 50 and Lou DiBella, Dib’s other promoter, have made the most of Dib’s appearance on ESPN, just as they’ve made the most of their alliance.

“We have an outstanding event coming up this Friday,” DiBella said, “and I think it is important for everyone to know that we are not doing this event to make a ton of money.  We are doing this to give the public an opportunity to see a great event and also to give this great champion, Billy Dib, the exposure that he truly deserves here in the US.”

Why it is “important for everyone to know” that DiBella and his partner are not making “a ton of money” is anybody’s guess. If he were to let us when he is making “a ton of money,” we’d have something to compare it to. 

“There are an awful lot of haters when you start a new business,” continued DiBella, “especially in the boxing world. No one has laid out a red carpet for Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson. Everything that he has achieved thus far he has worked to get. I am totally impressed by working with him, to see his intellect and how hard he actually works. I only see great things for him in this sport moving forward and just wanted to say it really is an absolute pleasure to work with you and your company.”

Nobody disputes 50’s intellect or his shoulder-to-the-wheel, nose-to-the-grindstone ethos. And while “no one has laid out a red carpet” for him, as DiBella says, Persian rugs aren’t a bad substitute.

“I am excited about Friday night,” 50 Cent said. “This has been a great partnership I have formed with Lou and it has just been an amazing process for me. This is the first boxing event that I have been involved with for the entire process, from beginning to end, and it really is going to be a special night for me on Friday night.

“To actually be in Billy’s camp and to see the sacrifices that he makes day in and day out is really something special. It makes you realize really what these fighters go through. It gives you a whole new appreciation for them and for this great sport.”

50 Cent is a public figure and behaves as such. He speaks well of his partner, although the same can’t be said of his former partner, just as he speaks well of Billy Dib. But that 50 failed “to see the sacrifices” Floyd Mayweather makes “day in and day out” when he was in his camp suggests that (1) Money May wasn’t making sacrifices, which we know is not true, or (2) 50 was looking elsewhere.

“I want to thank everyone who was involved with this promotion,” Dib said. “March 1st is going to be a great event. The whole team has worked very hard. This is my Second Coming. I am coming back here to America to showcase my ability. I am a completely different animal right now and you will see that Friday night. I know Gradovich is going to fight out of his skin, being this is his first world championship opportunity, so I can promise you that this is going to make for fireworks in this fight.”

In the ESPN co-feature, NABF super welterweight champion Willie Nelson (19-1-1, 11 KOs) defends his crown against Michael Medina (26-3-2, 19 KOs).

And, last but not least, 50 Cent will be performing on fight night.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. AKT 04:20am, 03/02/2013

    Thank you for the reassurance Mr. Ecksel! I love boxing.com

  2. Robert Ecksel 08:33pm, 03/01/2013

    He may be down, but we’d be nuts to count him out. He’s got enough capital to not only write his own ticket, but yours and mine as well. Boxing is the name of sport, but capital is the name of the game.

  3. the thresher 08:30pm, 03/01/2013

    Garcia just put 50 Cent outside of the scene.

  4. Robert Ecksel 11:15am, 03/01/2013

    AKT—If I’m being compromised, I wish I could see some evidence of it. 50 Cent is part of the scene, is less message than messenger, and speaks a different language than we’re used to (which is not say he doesn’t speak with a forked tongue). But he’s not a Harvard trained lawyer or Swiss banker, and that, in my opinion, is a refreshing change.

  5. AKT 10:51am, 03/01/2013

    Hey Robert, 50 Cent is getting a lot of love from you. 2 articles in one day dedicated to Mr. Fiddy. Just an observation - I hope you’re not being compromised ;-)

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