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What is Amir Khan doing fighting Billy Dib?

And does Dib have any chance? Matt Christie examines the curious Amir Khan card in Saudi Arabia
Amir Khan
Action Images/Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

IN last week’s issue of Boxing News former heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney had some advice for Anthony Joshua following his crushing defeat to Andy Ruiz Jnr: Get back on the horse quickly.

This Friday (July 12), atop a bizarre card thrown together by moneymen in Saudi Arabia, Amir Khan takes on Billy Dib a mere 12 weeks after taking a blow to the groin from Terence Crawford in New York and signalling enough was enough. However, to go from the all-conquering Crawford to Dib is not so much falling from a horse and getting back on, but falling from a horse and landing on a mouse who was happily having a nap until Amir Khan fell on him.

Because Dib, though a former IBF featherweight champion, is so small and off the world class pace, the only way to describe this one, at least at this stage and on paper, is as a mismatch. Trundling through obscurity when the even more overmatched Neeraj Goyat was forced off the show due to injuries sustained in a car crash, Dib – a once familiar face to hardcore fans – was offered the chance to step in at three weeks’ notice. With a scrap against Manny Pacquiao still supposedly in the offing for Khan, apparently to be staged in Saudi Arabia if the Filipino veteran gets past Keith Thurman on July 20, then Dib is the fall guy hired to make such a contest seem appealing.

Manny Pacquiao
The target: but can Manny Pacquiao be lured to Saudi Arabia Esther Lin/Showtime