DUBAI: Acclaimed British boxer Amir Khan is heading into the boxing ring with ex-MMA fighter Neeraj Goyat in Saudi Arabia, in a historical bout taking place during Saudi Seasons.
Khan, who is of Pakistani origin and described as “the biggest Muslim personality in sport since Muhammad Ali,” will become the first high profile Muslim boxer to fight at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah – also known as The Shining Jewel – on July 12, 2019.
He is set to take on Neeraj Goyat, who is dubbed as the face of India’s national boxing scene.
“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,” Khan said. "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.”
Khan’s rival Goyat, who holds a WBC Asian belt, said: “This opportunity is as big as it gets for me. I will be carrying the hopes of 1.2 billion on my shoulders who will expect me to bring the title by causing an upset.”
Khan has thrilled the boxing world with his exhilarating all-action style since he stepped onto the world stage at just 17 when he heroically battled his way to a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
One the other hand, Goyat has carved his name in his own country. Hailing from Chandigarh, he is a pioneer in helping to establish professional boxing in India.
As part of the Kingdom’s social and cultural push under the Vision 2030 strategy, the event is expected to boost the country’s image in the sporting world.