Boxing: Neeraj Goyat challenge excites Amir Khan

Dubai: An India-Pakistan rivalry in boxing has been brewing for years and now Neeraj Goyat wants to make it a reality by once again calling out former world champion Amir Khan, the British fighter of Indian origin.

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While Bolton-born Khan has not fought since he defeated Billy Dib in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last July, to capture the vacant WBC International welterweight title, Goyat made an impressive pro debut by outclassing New Zealander Obedi Maguchi on at Stanmore Bay, New Zealand, in March.

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Goyat (11-2-2, 2 KOs) holds the WBC Asian welterweight title and has long pursued a fight against Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) to help elevate his status in the boxing world.

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“Whenever he says, wherever he says, I am ready to fight. I can’t wait to see him in the ring. He is a champion boxer and beating him will give me satisfaction,” Goyat told the Times of India.

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Speaking on his return to the ring after a scary car accident last year forced the original bout with Khan to be called off, Goyat said: “It was a great comeback for me. It helped me get back my confidence which got shattered after the accident.

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“I am training at home in Yamunanagar and getting myself ready for the fight (as and when planned), I would want to knock him out in front of the jam-packed stadium. I know the organisers are concerned with COVID-19 right now. So no problem, they can take their time but they should plan a fight soon.

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“I am sure our fight will boost professional boxing in India. I speak to Amir over the phone on a regular basis. We are friends outside the ring, but inside the ring we are totally different.”

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Khan, who has fought only six times in the last five years, said earlier this year: “Since it’s been a long time out of the ring, I think I’d go with the Neeraj Goyat fight, and then after him fight Manny Pacquiao and call it a day.

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“I’d like to fight Goyat because being this long out of the ring, and at the same time being ranked in the top 10 with the WBC, it makes sense to take that fight in Saudi Arabia or wherever. It’s a decent fight.”

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