Billy “The Kid” Dib faces his toughest test on Saturday when he faces hardened veteran Rogers “The Tiger” Mtagwa (24-11-2, 17 KOs) from Tanzania in a featherweight bout at Madison Square Garden.
Dib (16-0, 9 KOs) has something up his sleeve.
The Aussie lefthander already has leg speed, hand speed and a pretty good chin. But what he really has is Jack and Shane Mosley showing him what boxing is all about: fighting hard even during sparring.
“Working with Shane and Jack has been very helpful,” said Dib, 22, who spent most of the past year with the Mosleys. “It’s great to work in Big Bear.”
Dib recently sparred with former world champion Freddie Norwood, and also works a bit with Sugar Shane at times. Speed alone cannot give him enough advantage to keep away from the elite fighters.
“The only way to learn is to go hard every day,” said Shane Mosley. “When I was young I used to go to the gyms in L.A. and spar with guys like Zack Padilla, Genaro Hernandez and guys like that. We never took it easy. That’s the only way to learn.”
Mtagwa’s battled with very tough customers in his career. Though he hasn’t always come out on top he’s a durable fighter that can be counted to go the distance. He’s lost against Martin Honorio, Orlando Salido and the late Agapito Sanchez. But he’s beaten gritty foes like Fernando Trejo and Joe Morales. He’s not easy.
But the Mosley’s know what it takes to make it to the top tier and both feel Dibs has a future.
“He’s got good hand speed and movement, we’re just trying to harness that talent and show him what it takes,” said Jack Mosley.
Dibs moves gracefully around the ring from one side to the other. When he chooses he can fire stiff and rapid combinations.
“The sparring I get here is the difference between the U.S. and Australia,” said Dibs.
In his last fight he beat Jose Alberto Gonzalez. Now it’s one step tougher for two reasons: Mtagwa is a rough customer and it’s inside Madison Square Garden.
“It’s really going to be great,” said Dibs.
Riddick Bowe going MMA
Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe plans to return to fighting, but not into boxing. He’s going to try mixed martial arts.
“I’ve got to make a living,” said Bowe who last fought two years ago in Temecula against Billy Zambrun. “I’ve got fast hands.”
Bowe will be fighting for Xcess Fighting and will be training under MMA star Mark Kerr. His promoter said he could be ready by Dec. 12.
“He wants to be the first guy to win a world championship in boxing and MMA,” said Bruce Valachi, CEO of Xcess Fighting.
Arreola fight postponed
Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola will not be fighting on Nov. 16 due to the death of his best friend Alex Carranza.
Arreola was scheduled to fight Teke Oruh in a heavyweight fight at St. Lucia, a resort island in the Caribbean. But his managers postponed the fight after learning about
Carranza’s shooting death that occurred on Saturday Oct. 27 in Riverside, California at a house party. The 25-year-old Carranza was shielding his girl friend when a gunman fired shots at random. He died that night.
“Alex was Chris’s best friend and he was a friend of mine too,” said Henry Ramirez, who trains Arreola.
Ortiz vs. Maussa
Oxnard’s Victor Ortiz faces former junior welterweight champion Carlos Maussa of Colombia at Madison Square Garden on Saturday Nov. 10.
“It’s just fight like any other fight to me,” said Ortiz, who hopes a win over Maussa can lead to a world title bid early next year. “A boxing ring is a boxing ring.”
Maussa, who fights what some call “the drunken boxer” style, used his unorthodox fighting to beat Vivian Harris by knockout two years ago. Then Maussa faced England’s Ricky Hatton in a unification match and was stopped in nine rounds.
Ortiz is not fazed.
“I can’t wait to step in the ring,” said Ortiz. “I can’t get in there fast enough.”
Margarito vs. Johnson
Former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito needs to beat Golden Johnson to get a shot at the winner between Shane Mosley and WBA titleholder Miguel Cotto.
“We’ve been told that Tony could face the winner,” said Sergio Diaz, the co-manager of Margarito.
Margarito also wants another crack at Paul Williams, who took the Tijuana fighter’s WBO welterweight title away last July.
“We know that Golden Johnson is an experienced fighter,” said Margarito. “We are not coming unprepared.”