Boxing icon Amir Khan to face Neeraj Goyat in Saudi Arabia

The event is part of Saudi Seasons. (Supplied)
Updated 31 May 2019
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Boxing icon Amir Khan to face Neeraj Goyat in Saudi Arabia

  • The highly-anticipated match will happen on July 12, 2019 at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah
  • Khan is taking on Neeraj Goyat, who is dubbed as the face of India’s national boxing scene

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.


Di Maria scores 2 as PSG beats Madrid in Champions League

Updated 19 September 2019

Di Maria scores 2 as PSG beats Madrid in Champions League

  • Di Maria doubled the advantage when he struck again in the 33rd minute, found this time by Gueye

PARIS: No Neymar. No Kylian Mbappe. No problem.
With two first-half goals from Angel Di Maria and a rare late strike from right-back Thomas Meunier, a new-look Paris Saint-Germain missing its headline stars brushed aside a flat Real Madrid 3-0 in the Champions League to go top of Group A in an impressive start to its European campaign on Wednesday. 
Di Maria, a Champions League winner with Madrid in 2014, was rampant against his former club, using phenomenal speed and clever placing to torment a Madrid defense sorely missing the suspended Sergio Ramos.
The Argentine's first goal poked past Thibaut Courtois' near post in the 14th minute was his 25th in 100 European matches.
Some of PSG's new recruits were instrumental in the victory. Idrissa Gueye, bought from Everton, bossed the midfield.
Di Maria's opener originated with Mauro Icardi, a late loan-signing from Inter Milan. He linked up smartly with left-back Juan Bernat, who then found Di Maria in space in the box with a swift cut-back pass.
Di Maria doubled the advantage when he struck again in the 33rd minute, found this time by Gueye.
Di Maria caressed a pinpoint shot with his left foot from long range past the outstretched Courtois and celebrated enthusiastically as Paris fans lit red flares.
Gareth Bale thought he'd got a goal back moments later with a sweet volley over former Madrid teammate Keylor Navas, bought by Paris to provide added assurance behind the suffocating PSG defense that snuffed out Madrid at the Parc des Princes.
But referee Anthony Taylor spotted on video replay that the Wales winger had touched the ball with his right arm as he juggled it from his left foot to his right one before shooting.
Meunier's goal in second-half injury time was only his sixth in 48 European matches. Bernat's pass set up the strike. Up in the posh seats, the suspended Neymar and Mbappe, recovering from injury, chuckled together at the sight of the full-backs combining to score. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane scowled.
Zidane lamented the lack of urgency from his side that had zero shots on target other than Bale's disallowed goal and another disallowed for offside in the second half.
"It was a weird sensation," he said, speaking through a translator. "We hardly ever got into the match."
Zidane refrained from singling out any player, saying "it's everybody's fault when we lose."
But James Rodriguez, back from Bayern Munich, was particularly ineffective. And Eden Hazard, bought from Chelsea, looked ring-rusty as he makes his way back from injury. A trademark dribble in the PSG area in the second half ended with Hazard tripping over himself and landing on his backside.
Zidane replaced them both with 20 minutes to play.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, on the other hand, had no problem singling out Gueye for praise. He clicked with Marco Verratti and the deeper-lying Marquinhos in the PSG midfield that purred as if they'd played together for years.
"He's a machine. He never stops, never stops running," Tuchel said. "Against a team like Madrid, that is super-important."
Tuchel suggested the absence of Neymar, Mbappe and PSG's record scorer Edinson Cavani, also recovering from injury, may have been a help rather than a hindrance.
Without them, outside observers figured PSG was unlikely to win, and that eased pressure on Tuchel's other players, the coach said.
When Neymar has served out the rest of his two-match ban, and Mbappe and Cavani are fit again, expectations will quickly rise in the wake of this humbling of Madrid that showed the strength in depth of PSG's expensively assembled team.
But PSG knows from bitter experience how hard the road will become in the Champions League, having failed to get beyond the quarterfinals since the club's wealthy Qatari owners took over in 2011.
Tuchel was eager to tamp down any buzz.
"If someone asks me if we are going to win the Champions League, I'm leaving," he said.