Amir Khan’s forthcoming Jeddah jaunt has been altered in more ways than one following a car crash involving Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat.
The bout on July 12 in Saudi Arabia was billed as a ‘historic’ battle between Pakistan and India until Goyat was forced to pull out on Wednesday.
World Boxing Council officials had ratified a one-off ‘Pearl Belt’ to be on the line for the contest. This accolade has now been withdrawn.
The strap will be saved for another occasion, more than likely to be a Khan event.
Australian former featherweight world champion Billy Dib has since been drafted in. Dib was competing at 130 pounds in 2018 but now steps in up weight considerably.
‘The Kid’ has an extensive 50-fight record of 45 wins and 5 losses. Dib is a massive underdog as Khan bids to land a fight with Manny Pacquiao in 2019.
Releasing their thoughts on the matter, the WBC has now sanctioned the International title for next month’s offering.
“On July 12, 2019, the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, will host a night of historic boxing starring the great former world champion, Amir Khan,” said the WBC.
“Originally, Amir Khan was facing Neeraj Goyat; However. But Goyat suffered a car accident recently, causing him some injuries that will prevent him from going into the ring this night. For this reason, Billy Dib will be Amir’s new opponent.
“The World Boxing Council had prepared a special belt to recognize the winner of this fight not only because this is a historical contest, but also as a symbol of peace to recognize the efforts of Amir Khan; representing Great Britain and Pakistan. And Neeraj Goyat; representing India.
“This is to boost sports and social development in this region.
“Considering all these elements and above all the proven quality of both contenders, the WBC approved Khan vs. Dib for the vacant international welter belt. The pearl belt will be reserved for another special occasion in the future.
“Likewise, the WBC and its President Mauricio Sulaimán will take this opportunity to wish Neeraj Goyat a speedy recovery.