There’s more to Billy “the Kid” Dib than meets the eye.
The Australian has won two featherweight championships, and as a devout Muslim with Lebanese-Palestinian parents he’s a mentor to many.
But 2015 wasn’t kind to the 30 year old – he was knocked down inside and outside the ring.
“I suffered something of a devastating loss against Takashi Miura and shortly after arriving back home my wife dropped the news that she had been diagnosed with cancer and shortly after that she lost her battle with cancer,” he told SBS News.
He lost his partner Sara in September 2015 after a battle with blood and bone marrow cancer.
“The boxing title meant nothing compared to losing your soul mate and best friend,” he said.
“Sara was a very special person and unfortunately cancer got the better of her.”
Faith has helped him come to terms with his grief.
“God called her back so she went back to meet her maker,” he said.
Dib had to do some soul searching, but in the lead up to a fight planned for January in London he injured his hand.
While recovering he’s turned his mind to helping young Australians at risk of being marginalised or radicalised.
“Certain organisations have called me up and said ‘can you come in and speak to these kids’ and you know sometimes you can think you’ve got it bad but these kids have got it so much worse than you,” he said.
Dib said he was also concerned about racist abuse and attacks on public transport and for that reason he won’t catch the bus or the train.
“I don’t want to be there or be involved in something like that where someone gets hurt or you know you have a Muslim woman who’s wearing a headscarf or has her scarf ripped off in front of me,” he said.
Dib said he would find it difficult to simply sit back and not get involved in such incidents.
“I feel like I am sort of obligated to step in and I don’t want to be in that situation where I have to step in and someone gets hurt and I don’t want to bring that on my self or on my family,” he said.
As for 2016 he’s looking forward to launching his acting career in May and also plans to be back in the ring for a fight on February 26th.
“I know that I have got an angel on my shoulder now and I am going to be giving it a real good go.”