Dib, Franco negotiating title bout

Featherweight titlist Billy Dib of Australia thought he’d be defending his title against mandatory challenger Mauricio Munoz of Argentina in his next fight. However, there’s been a change of plans.

Now, Dib is likely to face Miami-based Cuban defector Luis Franco (11-1, 7 KOs), who lost a controversial split decision to Munoz (26-3, 12 KOs) in an October eliminator for the right to challenge for the title.

Dib-Munoz went to a purse bid in November and Warriors Boxing’s Leon Margules was the lone bidder at $50,000. Margules is also an attorney and bid on behalf of his most famous client, rapper 50 Cent (real name: Curtis Jackson), whose SMS Promotions handles Dib.

However, before setting the date and location of the fight, Munoz dropped out. According to the IBF, it received a letter from Munoz’s doctor citing an unspecified injury. Under the IBF rules, it did not have to wait until he was available to fight and instead went to the its next highest-ranked featherweight, Franco.

The Dib and Franco camps have until Jan. 14 to reach an agreement or a purse bid will be ordered.

Dib (35-1, 21 KOs) will be making his third title defense.