Gloves off as world champion boxer Amir Khan dreams of ‘more fights in Saudi Arabia’

Two-time boxing world champion says he sees a future in Saudi Arabia. (Arab News/ Huda Bashatah)
Updated 12 July 2019

Gloves off as world champion boxer Amir Khan dreams of ‘more fights in Saudi Arabia’

  • Amir Khan will face Billy Dib in a special Fight Night event in Jeddah as a part of city’s season
  • Khan admitted his view of the Kingdom was largely negative until he visited the coutry

JEDDAH: Two-time boxing world champion Amir Khan told a Jeddah audience that he dreams to have “many more fights in Saudi Arabia.”

“I have options to fight in America, England and Europe, but I came to Saudi because I know the future is here,” Khan said.

He was interviewed for a new comedy show to be aired soon on MBC 1 hosted by Himli Nattu.  

Amir Khan will face Billy Dib in a special Fight Night event in Jeddah as a part of city’s season. The fight will take place on Friday, July 12 at King Abdullah Sports City’s Arena.

Khan said he used to make decisions with his fist, but as he grew older, he became more thoughtful about his choices: “I have to think about the future, and that is the reason I am now in Saudi Arabia.”

Before coming to the Kingdom, Khan said that he had negative perceptions about Saudi Arabia, such as worrying for his safety and thinking that it would be a lifeless, boring country.

However, he said he had a relaxed experience in the Kingdom. “I have spent over two weeks here already, and I have to say it is one of my favorite countries,” he said.

“The Kingdom is so peaceful, and Makkah is around the corner, so I went there to do my prayers.”

Khan’s family is coming to Saudi Arabia next week, and he said he was excited to show them Jeddah and enjoy the season together, noting that his daughter’s birthday is coming soon.

He also introduced his coaches to the audience and talked about the nature of his job. “Boxing is a very lonely sport when you're fighting, you’re completely alone. But it’s good when you have a strong team with you,” Khan said.

Asked about the most significant challenge he faces besides boxing, Khan said: “the biggest fight I have outside the ring is always with the wife, and she always wins.”

Despite the joke, Khan said he has many important fights outside the ring, “for example, I do a lot of charity work, and I love helping poor people around the world, so those are big fights for me,” Khan said.

He said he would always favor boxing and fame over fortune because “the money comes and goes,” but one should always follow their passion.

The audience was extremely enthusiastic, Salim Ahmad from said he came to the event to see the famous boxer: “I came here for Khan, I couldn’t bear missing this amazing chance to see the global star,” he told Arab News.

“He has a very lovable character, and I am glad to know that he is enjoying his stay in my city. I really want him to win, and he definitely will,” he added.


Ivanka Trump applauds Saudi Arabia’s reforms advancing economic role for women

Updated 17 January 2020

Ivanka Trump applauds Saudi Arabia’s reforms advancing economic role for women

  • Saudi women in business have lauded the Vision 2030 strategy for being the key driver in helping them to realize their ambitions

The United States President’s daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump, praised on Friday Arab states for the progress they have made in their reforms highlighted in a World Bank Report.

“Great seeing some big progress in countries with the most improved scores this year in the World Bank WBL (Women, Business and the Law) report,” she said, referring to several countries mentioned in the report, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan and Tunisia.

 

The World Bank’s annual “Women, Business, and the Law” report ranked Saudi Arabia top among 190 countries for its progress in bringing about reforms related to female involvement in economic development and entrepreneurship.  

According to the World Bank’s figures for 2020, Saudi Arabia scored 70.6 out of 100 for progress achieved in the integration of women into the labor market. The report’s findings also placed the country first among Gulf states, and second in the Arab world for meeting the criteria.

Saudi women in business have lauded the Vision 2030 strategy for being the key driver in helping them to realize their ambitions.