Amir Khan returns to the ring on Friday night in Saudi Arabia against Australian Billy Dib. The former world champion was due to face Indian Neeraj Goyat but he was injured in a car crash, leading to Dib coming in as a late replacement.

 

Khan needs to make big statement

Plenty have scoffed at Khan’s latest fight with the British boxer appearing to opt for a huge payday in the Middle East.

Khan comes into the contest following a sixth round defeat to Terence Crawford in April. He was beaten in slightly bizarre circumstances, after claiming he could not continue following a low blow, but the outcome was never in doubt against the unbeaten American.

It was the fifth defeat of his professional career and the fourth loss inside the distance. Khan has won 33 of his 38 bouts but appears to be on the wane at the highest level.

No-one can forget Khan’s record though with the former world champion at light-welterweight an exceptional boxer in his prime.

His points win over Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas and stoppage of Zab Judah are two of his notable victories.

But at the age of 32 Khan’s explosive pace, which dazzled fans around the world and made him such a popular boxer, does not have the same zip anymore.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Referee David Fields stops the fight in the sixth round as Amir Khan cannot continue after sustaining a low blow by Terence Crawford during their WBO welterweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on April 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

He has never been afraid of taking on the best as he did when jumped up two weight divisions and was beaten in six rounds by middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in 2016.

After a two-year break from the ring, Khan returned with a first minute destruction of Phil Lo Greco.

His points win over Samuel Vargas last September was unconvincing though and suggested he no longer carried the explosiveness from in his prime.

The defeat to Crawford in his last fight was predictable, against one of the pound for pound stars in the sport, but the question remains whether he can dominate again as faces a significant drop in class in opposition.

 

Dib a huge underdog to stun Khan

Dib will hope to take advantage of this unexpected opportunity although the odds suggest he should not pose many problems for Khan.

The 33-year-old has a record of 45 victories with five defeats, two of them coming inside the distance.

Dib, a former world featherweight and super featherweight champion, lost to Tevin Farmer on points in August. He comes into this contest following a first round knockout win against Surachet Tongmala.

 

Khan v Dib: The verdict

Khan is an overwhelming 1/25 favourite against 10/1 shot Dib and it is very difficult to make a case for an upset in Jeddah.

Dib is stepping up two weight divisions and is likely to be outclassed by Khan in Saudi Arabia.

Khan has won 26 times inside the distance and the favourite is as short as 2/9 to win by KO, TKO or disqualification.

His greater speed and power should prove decisive and Khan is backed to clinch a win inside the first three rounds.

Tip: Khan to win in rounds 1-3

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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