After staring down a premature end to his career, former IBF featherweight world champion Billy Dib is confident he still has the drive to become a two-division world champion, after stepping up to the super-featherweight division last month.
Dib outworked durable Mexican Alberto Garza to a unanimous decision in the US in his first fight since a brutal TKO loss to Russian destroyer Evgeny Gradovich in November last year.
After contemplating retirement at just 28, Dib (37-3) has set his sights on a second world title in the super-featherweight division following the win over Garza.
"There was a lot of soul-searching that took place [after the loss] and I even contemplated walking away from the the sport and looking for something else in life," Dib said
"But there's so much ahead of me. I love the sport of boxing so much, and just because you get beaten by somebody doesn't mean you can't be the best in the world again.
"All you've got to do is re-adjust and I've done that now. I've stepped up in weight, I've got myself back up in the world ratings and hopefully I'll be fighting for - and winning - a world title some time next year."
Dib, a Dragons tragic, spent plenty of time at Wollongong's DragonFit gym in the lead up to the fight with Garza, training alongside Matt Cooper and Josh Miller.
He says he feels much stronger in the higher division, in which he won an IBO world title earlier in his career.
"Featherweight was starting to really take it's toll on me. Although it's only two kilos difference, two kilos when you're trying to make the weight is a world of difference," Dib said.
"I don't have to kill myself to make weight and that's why I felt so good [against Garza].
"In boxing when you get beaten, sometimes you're out of the ring for two-to-six months, which means you're walking around with the burden of being beaten. So it was awesome to get back in there and feel like a winner again.
"Even though in that fight I showed a little bit of what I can do, hopefully I'll do some work with Coops down here at DragonFit and get a bit stronger and hopefully go on to another world title."