By: Ste Rowen
Tevin Farmer vs. Billy Dib
Philadelphian southpaw, Tevin Farmer will be hoping it’s second time lucky this Friday when he takes on Australian, Billy Dib in a fight for the vacant IBF super-featherweight world championship, at Redfern’s, Technology Park in Australia.
Farmer, 25-4-1 (4KOs) was last seen in the ring in December when he challenged for the IBF strap vs. Kenichi Ogawa. It was a bout that was controversial on multiple levels. Firstly, the belt was only vacant because Gervonta Davis missed weight before his fight with Francisco Fonseca last August. The matchup between Farmer and Ogawa was then made and though it went the distance, it seemed the Philadelphian had clearly won the bout. Two of the judges begged to differ, returning scorecards of, 115-113, 116-112 and 112-116, handing the Japanese a split decision victory and the IBF belt.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
But the controversy wasn’t over just yet as, in April of this year, it was reported that Kenichi tested positive for two forms of synthetic testosterone and was subsequently banned and stripped of his title, leaving it vacant once again and opening the door for Tevin, #4 in the IBF rankings, to take his second chance at world honours.
‘‘When you go on the road and get it, I think people respect you more.’’ Farmer told ‘FightHype’. ‘‘I had a lot of setbacks in 2017…He’s gonna catch everything I’ve been feeling these past two years.’’
‘‘It goes like this. Beat Billy Dib for the IBF. Next fight Davis for the WBA, then fight Miguel Berchelt for the WBC. I want these fights back to back.’’
Dib, 43-4 (24KOs), a former IBF featherweight champion, was last involved in a world title fight over three years ago when he was knocked out by, then WBC 130lb titlist, Takashi Miura in Tokyo. And the ‘The Kid’ hasn’t fought in a scheduled 10-rounder since July 2016 when he went the distance with Thai, Amphol Suriyo. Since then Billy has fought three times, 11 rounds, including a ‘no-contest’ result where he clashed heads with Yardley Armenta Cruz on the Mikey Garcia vs. Adrien Broner undercard.
Speaking to ‘Fox Sports’ in Australia, the IBF’s ranked #3 said,
‘‘Ever since Jeff Fenech and I teamed up, back in early October, we’ve sort of had our eyes on either Gervonta Davis or Tevin Farmer…Both guys are southpaws, so we’ve been preparing mentally for southpaws and I think it’s gone really well.’’
‘‘With a loss, I’d definitely give my goodbyes to the sport of boxing.’’
The winner will join 130lb belt holders Berchelt (WBC), the recently crowned Masayuki Ito (WBO) and both – yes both – WBA champions, Alberto Machado & Davis; which should make for some interesting unifications, if all parties are willing, and ready to fight.
Tim Tszyu vs. Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus
Also fighting on Friday’s Technology Park card is, Tim Tszyu, son of former super-lightweight unified world champion, Kostya Tszyu. Tim, 9-0 (7KOs) will be up against Indonesian road warrior, Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus, 27-15-1 (14KOs) in Tszyu’s 2nd defence of the WBC ‘Asian Council Continental’ junior-middleweight strap.
Speaking to ‘Fox Sports’, Tszyu was keen to outline his own path, separate from his father’s success.
‘‘Through my ability and my training, I’m showing that I’m taking the right steps forward for my own career, not as the son of Kostya Tszyu…Everyone was born for a certain reason, and I was born for this.’’
‘‘This is the first time I’ve had 8-10 weeks (training) so we’ve had a strength time, a sparring time and now it’s just the finishing touches…I’ve only had 9 fights, so this is only the start.’’