Amir Khan, Neeraj Goyat bring countries together in historic WBC battle
One leg of the media tour remains for Amir Khan and Neeraj Goyat for the welterweight bout which blindsided the boxing media.
Fresh from facing one of the pound for pound stars in the sport, ex-world champion Khan went leftfield by opting for an encounter with Goyat.
Khan, from Pakistan, will trade blows with India’s Neeraj Goyat in what will be a historic fight in Jeddah. The specially-made WBC ‘Pearl’ title will be on the line.
Discussing why they decided to get it on in Saudi Arabia, both fighters were adamant the bout would bring their respective countries together in peace.
Amir Khan said: “This is an exciting challenge that I have ahead of me. It will be the first time a British Pakistani will fight an Indian boxer, which eventually will bring the two nations together.
“I would like to thank the Saudi government and General Sports Authority for giving me this opportunity and I’m a firm believer in sport being a great healer.”
At the India leg of the tour, Khan added: “It feels great to be back in India today, it’s my fourth time here.
“We are sportsmen and boxers and just want get in the ring and have a great fight. Neeraj is a great champion and for me he is a fighter that I will have train to my best for.
“We just want to get in there and get the fight on,”
Goyat stated: “I believe both our countries can come together and watch this historic moment. I’m not interested in the borders between our countries.
“This fight is to bring the countries together. In fact, it would be great to have more boxing fights between us in the ring. I can’t wait to fight Amir and the best man will win in Saudi Arabia.
“This opportunity is as big as it gets for me. Everything that I have achieved to date wouldn’t matter when I enter the ring on July 12 taking on a seasoned, established superstar in Amir Khan.
“I will be carrying the hopes of 1.2bn on my shoulders who will expect me to bring the title by causing an upset.”
Bill Dosanjh, founder and promoter of Super Boxing League, concluded: “No other sport can generate a fascination with the public like boxing and this is a fight that everybody will want to see.
“For a country like India, I believe it is one of the biggest fights ever as it is the battle between the two nations for the sake of building peace.
“Amir Khan is the one who believes in taking the risk so I can say it will be a tough fight. Lastly, I would like to thanks the Saudi government and sports authorities for making this happen.”