British professional boxer Amir Khan on Tuesday said he would have been distraught if his dream of fighting in Saudi Arabia on Friday for the WBC International Welterweight Championship had been put on hold.
Amir will now fight fellow two-time World Champion Billy Dib on Friday in Jeddah after his original opponent Neeraj Goyat was involved in a car accident, said a news release issued here. Amir was due to face Goyat at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the first ever Pakistan-India showdown in a boxing ring.
Khan will still headline the groundbreaking boxing extravaganza in the Middle East that also features Hughie Fury, Prince Patel and Dave Penasola all in championship title action.
When it was clear that Goyat would not recover in time to fight Khan on the scheduled date, promoter Bill Dosanjh of The Super Boxing League moved quickly to secure Khan a new opponent with former two-time World champion Dibb.
"Dib is a respected and experienced two-time World Champion so I'm looking forward to pitting my skill against him," he said. "My heart goes out to Neeraj and I pray for his full recovery and is fit and healthy again to resume his boxing career. We've had to make the decision to find a replacement and we've done extremely well in securing Dib to now be in the opposite corner," he added.
Amir said, "This fight is a landmark moment for boxing in Saudi Arabia and myself, Bill, the Saudi GSA and the government have worked tirelessly to put this event together. We wanted to keep the event on during the important Saudi Season [Jeddah Season Festival] and ensure the fans in Saudi get to watch this great event."
When: July 12, Friday
Where: The Indoor Sports Hall, King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- Inputs from APP