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Former IBF champion focused on fight with Oliver

Aap/Ap
Friday, July 05, 2013

SYDNEY - Former IBF featherweight world champion Billy Dib remains focused on his fight against American Mike Oliver this weekend despite charges being laid against his promoter, prominent rapper 50 Cent.

The promotion in Hartford, Connecticut tomorrow will proceed after 50 Cent was charged with domestic violence and vandalism.

The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, was charged with allegedly attacking his ex-girlfriend and trashing her Los Angeles condominium in June.

Dib's brother Emaid said his sibling hadn't been distracted by what had happened to 50 Cent and was in a good frame of mind heading into his fight against Hartford native Oliver.

A win would keep Dib on course for a rematch with Russian Evgeny Gradovich, who took his title away earlier this year.

Dib plans to invoke a rematch clause from the contract for that fight, though Gradovich must win his first title defence against Mauricio Munoz in late July.

Dib has spent a week longer preparing in the United States than for his fight against Gradovich.

Assisting him is Sydney Kings NBL co-captain James Harvey, who is Dib's new strength and conditioning coach.

Harvey has had Dib doing more swimming and outdoor activities.

Oliver (25-3, 8 KOs) is a well credentialled 33-year-old southpaw who won the vacant IBO super bantamweight world title in 2007.

He had a strong amateur career and his pro record includes a disqualification win over former IBF junior flyweight world champion Mauricio Pastrami.

The fight will be shown live in Australia through ESPN.