Former Australian boxing world champion Billy Dib has shed light on his ill-fated association with 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather that ultimately saw his dreams go up in smoke, during a chat with Yahoo Sport Australia for its 'Mind Games' series.
The year was 2012 and the young Aussie seemingly had the world at his feet; the then-26-year-old was the IBF Featherweight world champion and was about to sign the deal of a lifetime.
Or so he thought.
"After winning the world title against Jorge Lacierva, all the hard work and everything that I had dedicated my life to from the age of 12 had finally paid off," Dib told Yahoo Sport Australia.
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"I've finally made it on the big stage after all these years."
'Billy the Kid' - as he was affectionately known in the boxing world - was ready to take the sport by storm and crack the notoriously brutal American market with the help of some serious Hollywood star power.
Dib remembers all too well that first life-altering meeting with rapper 50 Cent in Las Vegas and a promise of riches that he'd only ever dreamed about.
"He had a Rolls Royce and a Lamborghini there, it was so cool," Dib recalls fondly.
"My future looked like I was going to be driving that Lamborghini, I'd have Rolls Royces in the back."
Dib says 50 Cent led him to the boot of a car where he dumped a bag full of cash and glamorous watches as a "sign-on bonus" for the boxer.
The Aussie was one of 50 Cent's first clients after the rapper started up a boxing promotions company with undefeated legend Mayweather - aptly named TMT (The Money Team).
Dib would later describe it as his "worst career move" after Mayweather's release from prison precipitated an acrimonious split with 50 Cent.
What at first seemed like a match made in heaven between music and sporting royalty turned into Dib's living hell after he found himself locked into a contract with 50 Cent, despite wanting to join Mayweather's new company.
"My contract had my name, Floyd Mayweather's name and 50 Cent's name (Curtis Jackson) but the only two names that were signed at the time were mine and 50 Cent's and Floyd's wasn't signed because he was in prison at the time," Dib said.
With assurances from 50 Cent that everything would be fine and a lucrative bout on a blockbuster card locked in, Dib was ready to showcase his talent to America.
That was until one morning when Dib's phone blew up with messages saying he'd been taken off the fight card.
"I was like 'what the hell is going on... oh my god Floyd Mayweather is having me blacklisted'. And that's exactly what he did he had me blacklisted from Showtime so they took me off the card.
"Obviously I was really disheartened, I was like 'man this is not what I signed up for'".
Dib still filthy with 50 Cent and Mayweather
After a period of excruciating uncertainty for Dib that included multiple changes to his upcoming opponent and untold disruption to his fight preparation, a deal was finally struck for the Aussie to fight Evgeny Gradovich.
Sadly for the Aussie superstar, his world title was snatched away after Gradovich scored a split-decision victory after 12 rounds.
With his winning streak broken - and his spirit with it - Dib would go on to lose the rematch to Gradovich in 2013 via a ninth round TKO.
Is his own words Dib went from "being on the top of the world" after signing a "multi-million-dollar deal with the strongest team in boxing", to yesterday's hero following a string of subsequent defeats that saw his career grounded before it could really take off.
The Aussie was slugged with one final knockout blow when the rapper's business went bankrupt and Dib claimed he was "ripped off by 50 Cent" to the tune of more than $1 million.
The rapper not only denies Dib's claims but says the Aussie was an "ungrateful" fighter who couldn't cut it in the big time.
"I think if I was ever in that position where I was face to face with 50 Cent, I'd just clock him in the face," Dib admitted with a smile.
The 35-year-old says the whole sorry ordeal has destroyed any respect and affection he once had for the rapper or Mayweather.
"I hope to never see them again, that's the truth," he said.
"I don't want their apology, I don't want nothing from them. Even if they said to me 'we can make things right', we can't.
"What's happened has happened. It's in the past and what you've done to me has made me the man I am today and I'm grateful."
Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:
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