After his original opponent got injured, British boxing star Amir Khan will now take on former world champion Billy Dib in a welterweight bout on 7/12/19 at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Khan was booked to fight Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat in that event but the latter suffered serious head and arm injuries following a car accident while heading home from one of his training sessions and was forced out of the bout. With time running out, Khan’s camp sought a replacement foe and was able to convince former 126-pound champion, Billy Dib, to move up two weight classes to fight Khan in Saudi Arabia this weekend.
Amir “King” Khan
Amir Khan was heavily criticized for choosing Neeraj Goyat as his next bout but Khan, who is of Pakistani descent, was hoping that fighting Goyat would improve the relationship between Pakistan and India who have long been rivals. However, with Goyat hurt, his team may have picked an even worse mismatch against a fighter who’s never fought higher than lightweight.
The 32-year old Khan is coming off a knockout loss to Terence Crawford which put his record to 33-5 with 20 knockouts. The 2004 Olympic silver medalist has lost two out of his last four fights and is no question past his prime already. With his star fading fast, Khan needs a huge bounce-back win and that’s why he picked the unknown Goyat and now the undersized Billy Dib.
Khan parted ways with trainer Virgil Hunter after the loss to Terence Crawford. The Bolton standout now trains with former junior featherweight champion Clarence “Bones” Adams and former Manny Pacquiao strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza and this will be Khan’s first bout with his new team.
Odds were taken from Bet365 as of 7/8/19
Bilal “Billy The Kid” Dib
Billy Dib held the IBF featherweight title from 2011 to 2013 and the IBO super featherweight title in 2008. The 33-year old from Sydney in Australia weighed in at 135 ¼ pounds for his most recent bout and will be moving up two weight classes to meet Khan at 147 pounds, a weight where the latter has fought for several years now.
The orthodox fighter Dib stands 5-7 tall and has a reach of 70 inches. He has a professional boxing record of 45-5 with 26 knockouts and 2 no-contests. Dib suffered a one-sided loss to American Tevin Farmer in August 2018 when he fought for a vacant junior lightweight title. He bounced back with a win over Surachet Tongmala during a lightweight bout last April 26th.
Dib has had an impressive career. But not only has he not fought at this weight class which is at least two divisions higher than where he had the most success at, but Dib also has the tendency to lose big fights. Dib has beaten the boxers that he was supposed to beat but when he fought top-level opposition like Evgeny Gradovich, Takashi Miura, Farmer, and even Steve Luevano, he couldn’t get the victory. It was either he got knocked out or he got outboxed.
When you take a look at the boxing betting odds, they are just the same as the numbers from the Khan vs Goyat when we first previewed that bout. That’s no surprise and I was even expecting Dib to be a bigger underdog given his age and size.
Looking at the size difference, Khan is just one-half inch taller and an inch longer at 5-7 ½ and 71 inches, respectively. But when you realize that Dib made his mark at featherweight or 126 pounds. He also won a minor world title at 130 pounds in 2008 but in his last two attempts at a major world title in that division, he got knocked out by Takashi Miura in the first and was completely outboxed by Tevin Farmer in the second.
Unlike Goyat who was five years younger than Khan, Dib is 33 years old and even a year older than the Briton. Since 2017, he’s fought just twice: against Farmer last year and against an unknown by the name of Fonluang Sor Singyu who had a 7-11 record before their bout. Not only has Dib been less active in the last two years, but he’s also lost every big fight he’s taken: Farmen, Gradovich, Miura, and Luevano.
Khan’s main weakness has always been his susceptibility to being knocked out. But because he’s fighting an opponent who’s moving up two weight classes in Billy Dib, I think it’s safe to say that Khan’s glass jaw won’t be a serious problem in this fight. That means you can eat your popcorn while watching this one.
No question, Khan’s boxing is more superior than Dib’s and I don’t think it’s even close. We’ve never questioned Amir Khan’s skill before. It’s always been about his durability and his ability to take a punch, especially to that jaw. But against a smaller man who’s not as fast as he is and not powerful enough to put him to sleep, I think this is an easy win for Khan, even easier than the original fight. Prediction: Amir Khan