Boxing Only

Billy Dibb Replaces Injured Neeraj Goyat Against Amir Khan In Saudi Arabia

Posted: 27-06-2019
Author: Andy Farr

 Amir Khan vs Billy Dibb
 Vacant WBC International Welterweight Title
 Friday 12th July 2019
 King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
 Super Boxing League
 Channel 5

If Amir Khan is earning £7m for fighting Australia's former world Featherweight champion Billy Dibb, then good luck to him, Dibb is a big step up from original opponent Neeraj Goyat who had no right whatsoever to be facing Khan.

To put the Khan vs Goyat fight into perspective, going back 3 fights on their respective records, Khan faced Phil Lo Greco who had previously taken current WBC champion Shawn Porter the distance. Khan stopped the Canadian in the 1st round.
Goyat lost a 6 round unanimous decision to Mexican Sergio Daniel Moreno Martinez, the bout was Goyat's 14th professional outing and Martinez's debut. Martinez has had 2 fights since the Goyat win and lost them both to poor opposition.

Boxing suffers when it comes to these exhibition matches where the headline act has no competition. This concept was started by the $340m mega-event that pitted MMA legend Connor McGregor against the then ageing former P4P king of boxing Floyd "Money" Mayweather. McGregor had only ever had a handful of amateur bouts in his native Ireland. Then last year, Mayweather took the concept to another level when he fought an exhibition boxing match against a 20-year-old Featherweight kickboxer called Tenshin Nasukawa, and was paid $9m for the mismatch of the century. Nasukawa was knocked down 3 times before the slaughter was ended.

Amir Khan vs Neeraj Goyat poster

Due to a car accident that Goyat was involved in, we are now getting Amir "King" Khan fighting Billy "The Kid" Dibb. The 33-year-old Australian lost in an August 2018 vacant IBF Super-featherweight title fight against the talented American Tevin Farmer but made a comeback in April with a 1st round Ko of Surachet Tongmala (7-11-0), Dibb came in just under the 135lb lightweight limit.

Khan was quick to add when the announcement was made, that Dibb moving up 2 weight divisions to face him was the equivalent of his challenge to Middleweight supremo Saul "Canelo" Alvarez for the WBC Middleweight title in 2016. That ended with Khan unconscious in the 6th round.

Amir Khan and Terence Crawford at Madison Square Garden
Amir Khan's last fight against P4P nominee Terence "Bud" Crawford.

Billy Dibb, maybe an over-achiever. He won the vacant IBF 126lb title in July 2011 against Mexican Jorge Lacierva (39-7-6) having failed in a WBO challenge to Californian Steve Luevano (35-1-1) in October 2008. He also won the vacant IBO Super-featherweight title in the fight before facing Luevano.

After 2 successful defences of the IBF belt at home Down Under, Dibb lost the title to Russian Evgeny Gradovich at The MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, losing by 12 round split decision. In the rematch in Macao 9 months later Gradovich retained his title by 9th round Tko.

In 2015, Dibb ventured to Japan to challenge WBC Super-featherweight champion Takashi Miura, only to be stopped after 3 rounds.

Billy is a value for money fighter, but when he is matched against top-level boxers he comes up short, so what is he doing in a ring with a former WBA, and IBF Super-welterweight champion, who is now a big Welterweight, and whose last fight was a challenge to P4P nominee Terence "Bud" Crawford?

It seems clear now that Khan is looking to cash out on his past successes, but it's sad that he is disrespecting the sport that gave him fame and fortune. It may have been a highlight reel knockout for Canelo, but Khan must realise that him lying unconscious on the canvas because he gave away at around 20lb on the night is not good for our sport.

He needs to be involved in evenly matched fights or retire.