Former world champion looks to get back to winning ways in Saudi Arabia
Amir Khan takes part during a training session at Amir Khan Academy on June 19, 2019 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Amir Khan vs Billy Dib Preview Predictions Betting Tips & Live Stream
What: Amir Khan vs Billy Dib for the WBC welterweight Pearl Belt
Where: King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
When: Friday, July 12 at 10pm BST
Former two-time world champion Amir Khan will take on Billy Dib in an official bout in Saudi Arabia on July 12. When the fight was first announced, it was thought to be a lucrative exhibition, but the WBC have sanctioned the contest and have created a ‘Pearl’ belt to be awarded to the winner.
This fight is the latest in the WBC’s ‘Boxing with Values’ program. On paper, it looks very-much a one-sided contest but there is money to be made if we choose the appropriate betting markets.
Amir Khan History, Form & Betting Style
Nationality: United Kingdom
Age: 32 (12/08/1986)
Professional record: 33-5-0 (20 KOs)
Height: 5ft 81/2 (174cm)
In a career of strange decisions, this is one of the strangest for Amir Khan. Granted, he stands to earn a reported £7 million from the contest, but he is doing his credibility few favours.
Khan may have his critics, who point to his inability absorb a punch as the reason why he is not at elite level. There has been no questioning his bravery during his career - which, in the case of his fight with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, bordered on stupidity.
This was also once a fighter who possessed the sort of hand speed only seen once in a generation. Whatever side of Khan’s you were on, you knew his fights would bring great entertainment.
Following his defeat last time out to Terence Crawford, it is clear Khan is no longer at world class level. The speed that was once so blistering has lost some of its zip - and when that is the key weapon, it is clear is time at the top is over.
Despite his decline, however, Khan is on a different level to Billy Dib and pre-fight odds of 1.04 for a Khan win suggest there will be only one winner in Jeddah. Khan insisted his fight with Dib won't be a walkover, saying the Australian is a “respected and experienced world champion”. I'm not so sure he believes it, Khan will want to impress and show he can still finish fights early.
Billy Dib History, Form & Betting Style
Age: 33 (17 August 1985)
Professional record: 45-5-0 (26 KOs)
Height: 5ft 7in (171cm)
Billy Dib has comes out of retirement to fight Amir Khan, a situation he has described as a real-life “Rocky Moment”. Dib was been called in to replace Indian fighter Neeraj Goyat, who unfortunately suffered injuries in a car accident and was forced to pull out.
Dib hasn’t had a big-name fight since he retired after a unanimous decision defeat to American Tevin Farmer in August. Added to his lack of preparation, the former featherweight world champion is coming up two weight classes to fight Khan at welterweight for the WBC’s Pearl Belt title.
In life you get a limited number of opportunities to do something monumental, and like the greatest in any industry will tell you, when an opportunity comes knocking you answer. This is my real life Rocky Moment. #Daretobegreatpic.twitter.com/R66mwAQFP1
Taking the fight at just two weeks notice, the Aussie fighter will have to fight more than 10kg heavier than his preferred featherweight level of 57kg. Dib began boxing at the age of 12 to try to overcome asthma, winning 98 out of 133 bouts in amateur competitions before turing professional in 2004.
He won his first 21 bouts and captured the IBO super-featherweight title against Zolani Marali in 2008. Dib took on Steven Luevano for the WBO featherweight title on 18 October 2008 but lose in a unanimous points decision.
In 2011 after nine straight victories, Dib beat Jorge Lacierva by Unanimous Decision to win the IBF Featherweight belt. He defended his title agianst Alberto Servidei with a first round knock out and recorded a seventh round TKO against Eduardo Escobedo in his second title defence.
He lost the title to Evgeny Gradovich on 1 March 2013, winning the vacant PABA super-featherweight title against Isaias Santos Sampaio on 6 December 2014.
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This is one of the biggest mismatches boxing has produced in recent years. Amir Khan will have far too much for Billy Dib, while the fear of being embarrassed should be motivation enough for Khan to arrive focused and fight-ready. Dib is tough and durable, though, so a mid-fight stoppage for Khan looks the most likely outcome.