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Dib Squeaks out Risk-Filled Win over Oliver

By Stephen Tobey at ringside

HARTFORD, Conn. – Billy Dib’s second trip to Connecticut was more successful than his first trip.
After losing his International Boxing Federation featherweight title in March, the Australian captured a 10-round majority decision over Hartford’s Mike Oliver at the Connecticut Convention Center last night in ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights”’ main event.

Glenn Feldman and Don Trella scored the fight 96-92 for Dib, 36-2 (21). Carlos Ortiz Jr. scored it 94-94. Oliver dropped to 25-4 (8). Oliver fought most of the fight with his back to the ropes but countered Dib effectively. He began to slow down and didn’t return fire as often in the later rounds. In the final minute of the eighth, however, Oliver landed a solid left uppercut that drove Dib back briefly.
At the start of the ninth, Oliver landed a one-two that drove Dib back once again. Dib responded with a good right hand to the head. In the final minute of the second round, Oliver landed his first really good shot, a right hook that drove Dib back on his heels. Dib responded with several uppercuts. Right before the bell sounded, ending the round, Dib landed a low blow. After the bell rang, Oliver went to the canvas on his back where the ringside physicians checked him. Eventually, he made it back to his corner. After the bell sounded to begin the third round, referee Mike Ortega allowed Oliver some additional time to recover.
Early in the third round, Dib landed another low right hand and Ortega deducted a point.
“When I hit him in the body, he’d tell the ref I hit him low,” said Dib. “I had to alter my fight strategy so I wouldn’t hit him low and get disqualified.”
Dib lost his IBF title on March 1, dropping a decision against Evgeny Gradovich at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino. “I’m not going to be content until I fight Gradovich again,” Dib said. “I don’t feel like he beat me on my best night.”
Oliver’s last fight was on Oct. 1, 2011, when Juan Manuel Lopez stopped him in two rounds.
“I thought I won the fight,” Oliver said, “but I’m happy to be back. My plan was to box him and hit him with some straight right hands. I landed some good straight right hands.”
The original main event, a light heavyweight bout between Eleider Alvarez and Allan Green, was canceled when Green came down with a case of food poisoning in the afternoon.
In the co-feature, Mark Davis of Baton Rouge, La. outpointed Robert Osiobe of Las Vegas at lightweight. Ken Ezzo and Carlos Ortiz Jr. scored the bout 78-74 and Bill Morande scored it 77-75.
Davis, 17-0 (5) relied on a stronger jab to control the fight against Osiobe, 14-6-4 (6).
Emmanuel De Jesus of Canovanas, Puerto Rico won a four-round unanimous decision over Rikardo Smith of Kissimmee, Fla. at light heavyweight.  Glenn Feldman and Ken Ezzo scored the fight 39-36. Bill Morande scored it 40-35. De Jesus is now 5-0 (4); Smith is 6-4 (1). In the second round, De Jesus dropped Smith with a left hook.
Donte Strayhorn of Cincinnati won a four-round majority decision over Oscar Diaz of Hartford at super lightweight. Glenn Feldman and Ken Ezzo both scored the bout 40-36 and Carlos Ortiz Jr. scored it 38-38. Strayhorn improved to 2-1. Diaz dropped to 0-2.
In a battle of debuting middleweights, Dave Wilson of New Haven, Conn. won a four-round unanimous decision over Rodrigo Almeida of Woburn, Mass. Glenn Feldman and Bill Morande scored the bout 40-36 and Don Trella scored it 39-37.
Featherweight Nate Green of New Haven outpointed Micah Branch of Cincinnati in a four-rounder. All three judges scored the bout 40-36. Green is 4-0 (1). Branch is 1-7-1.

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