Amir Khan opponent Neeraj Goyat suffers 'severe injuries' in car crash
Amir Khan and Neeraj Goyat were all set for their 'Pakistan vs India' fight night in Jeddah until the latter was seriously injured in a car crash late last night. But in something straight out of the movies, Goyat was replaced by Billy Dib who dramatically came out of retirement to fight Khan in Jeddah on July 12.
Khan as a British Pakistani and a Muslim, saw his fight with India’s Goyat as a way to bring fans from the two countries with a very contentious history together. But unfortunately that is non longer the case.
According to the BBC, Khan said in a video: "Billy is a two-time world boxing champion and will be coming up [in weight] to fight me, just like I did with Canelo [Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez]."
"We are very sad to inform that our star Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat who was preparing for his mega-fight against Amir Khan met with a car accident last night that has caused him severe injuries on his head, face and left arm,” said Bill Dosanjh who was responsible for the Goyat signing.
"He is currently in hospital and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“We are in the process of looking for Neeraj’s replacement. Please bear with us till we announce the new opponent of Amir Khan," the statement said.
Since then however, Australian fighter Billy Dib who retired a little over eight months ago is now replacing Goyat. Former featherweight titleholder, Dib, has moved up to welterweight for the fight.
The British Pakistani boxer has publically said that he threw himself into preparing for this fight as it was the 'best way to get him back in the ring' after he recently lost to WBO welterweight world champion Terence Crawford in New York City in April.
“Things can go wrong, and we all saw what happened with Anthony Joshua getting knocked out by a fighter people thought he’d destroy, so that’s why I have to bring my top game to Jeddah,” he said. “I can’t afford to make any mistakes.”
The 32 year-old, who is of Pakistani decent, has recently spoken about his wish to fight in the Middle East specifically in Dubai. However, those plans have not yet come to a fruition.
"It will be the first time a British Pakistani will fight an Indian boxer, which eventually will bring the two nations together," added Khan.
"I'm a firm believer in sport being a great healer. I would like to thank the Saudi government and General Sports Authority for giving me this opportunity."
However Khan’s dream fight he told Esquire Middle East, is right here in Dubai, and would be against Filipino boxing star and now politician Manny Pacquiao.
And it seems that it might just become a reality. According to Yahoo Sport UK, a date has finally been set for the fight between Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao if reports are to be believed for November 9.