Dib fights for late mate, Ali
A MILLIONAIRE with a flashy lifestyle who turned to charity work after being diagnosed with cancer will be the inspiration for Billy Dib’s world title fight in August.
Ali Banat, one of Dib’s closest friends, passed away last Tuesday at 32 after a threeyear battle with lung cancer.
The businessman used to flaunt his Ferrari, Louis Vuitton shoes and gold bracelets worth $60,000 each.
But after being given his cancer diagnosis in 2015 and being told he had seven months to live, Banat dedicated himself to charity.
He raised more than $1 million, which went towards building a school and hospital for orphans in the African nation of Togo.
Dib will take on American Tevin Farmer for the IBF super-featherweight title in Sydney on Friday, August 3, with the words “In Memory Of Ali Banat” emblazoned on his shorts.
“He was one of a kind, he was such a positive person even though he was suffering,” Dib said. “At the funeral, his brothers told me I need to win this fight for Ali, and I will.
“Ali believed this life is temporary, he wasn’t scared to die, he was preparing himself by doing charity work, feeding and clothing orphans.
“We spoke a week before he passed. He told me to go out there and do my best and, no matter what, people would be proud of me. We were super close. God called him back, so he had to go.”
Dib (43-4, 24KO) and Farmer (25-4-1, 5KO) will fight for the vacant title forfeited by Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa, who failed a drug test after he beat Farmer.
Boxer Billy Dib with his late friend Ali Banat