Tevin "The American Idol" Farmer (26-4-1, 5 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA, won the IBF Junior Lightweight World Title Friday via 12-round unanimous decision against Australian Billy Dib (43-5, 24 KOs), at Technology Park, in Eveleigh, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.
Dominating from the opening bell, the southpaw Farmer landed at will throughout the fight. Using lateral movement and superior ring intelligence, Farmer hurt Dib with a piston-like jab and battering left hands over the course of the bout, dropping the valiant Australian in the ninth stanza en route to his first world title. After 12 rounds, scorecards read 118-109, 119-108 and 120-107. An emotional Dib announced his retirement in the ring following the decision.
"Billy Dib is a hell of a fighter, he had a great career, and he’s a two-time world champion," said an elated Farmer. "He tried to bully me and that might have worked if I wasn’t from Philly. I’m the new champion of the world. It was a long time to get here, but there’s a long way to go.
"Nobody wanted to give me a shot, everybody was ducking me so I had to kick the door in. Now I’ve got the belt and everybody will want to start screaming my name. I’m ready to fight anyone and unify the titles."
"I’ve never had a champion like Tevin Farmer," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "At 7-4-1, with all the odds against him, he decided he’d be a world champion. He went from 7-4-1 to 26-4-1, now with an IBF strap around his waist. Despite being shot through the hand protecting family and getting robbed in his last fight, he never stopped smiling and always believed in himself. Tevin is Philly to the core.
"I’m so proud of Tevin and I’m so proud of my friend Billy Dib, who fought the only fight that he could to give himself a shot. Dib would not quit as he hasn’t quit throughout the dark moments of his life. He went the distance with his heart, as he has and will in life. I wish him well in retirement."
The 28-year-old Farmer had challenged for the same vacant title in his last bout on December 9, 2017
, losing a very close, controversial decision to Kenichi Ogawa, of Japan. Ogawa later tested positive for a performance enhancing drug and was stripped of the title with the decision being changed to a No-Contest.