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Amir Khan and Neeraj Goyat will have WBC Pearl belt at stake on July 12

Amir Khan Khan vs. Goyat Neeraj Goyat


By Trevor McIntyre: Amir Khan will be fighting Neeraj Goyat for the newly created WBC Pearl belt on July 12 at the King Abdullah Sports City, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. There’s no word about whether there will be a sanctioning fee involved with the WBC’s newly invented ‘Pearl’ belt, but it won’t be surprising if it does.

(Photo credit: WBC)


The WBC having a newly created ‘Pearl’ strap up for grabs for the Khan vs. Goyat fight likely won’t make the fight anymore credible in the eyes of the boxing public. Khan vs. Goyat is considered a terrible mismatch, and rightly so. You’ve got an Olympic silver medalist and former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion in Khan (33-5, 20 KOs) facing a second tier fighter in 27-year-old Goyat (11-3-2, 2 KOs), and it looks like an unfair fight on paper. Goyat has never faced a world class opponent before, and he likely never will again after this fight.

Goyat has very little chance of winning

This fight isn’t even sporting, and there are a lot of unhappy fans complaining about it. The experience factor between the two combatants is off putting enough. It would have been better for this match to be called an exhibition with special over-sized gloves in use to keep Goyat from getting blasted out immediately. You hate to say it, but if Khan doesn’t carry Goyat by taking it easy on him, this fight is going to end almost immediately.

Here’s what the World Boxing Council has to say about their newly invented ‘Pearl’ belt for the Khan-Goyat fight:

“The WBC is proud of Amir Khan representing Pakistan and the U.K. and Neeraj Goyat representing India. The WBC has prepared a beautiful belt which will be presented as a commemorative trophy to the winner of this fight, as a sign of peace while developing boxing in the two great counties of Pakistan and India.”

Will Khan receive a top 15 ranking with WBC after beating Goyat?

Despite the Khan-Goyat fight being viewed as a mismatch, it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up in the WBC’s rankings at 147 after this. Currently, Khan isn’t ranked in the top 15 with the WBC, but that doesn’t seem to matter. With Khan fighting for the WBC’s newly invented ‘Pearl’ belt, it’s predictable that he’ll be given a top 15 ranking with the sanctioning body at welterweight. In theory, Khan shouldn’t be given a top 15 ranking with the WBC until he beats at least a bottom dweller at 147, but the ‘Pearl’ belt might change all that. If beating Goyat and capturing the WBC Pearl strap leads to Khan being given a top five ranking with the sanctioning body at 147, there’s going to be a lot of griping by boxing fans.

It’s not that Khan isn’t a good fighter. It’s more of a case of Goyat being such a poor one. It would have been better for the WBC to wait to present their newly invented ‘Pearl’ belt for a fight involving Khan and someone like Kell Brook. It would mean a lot more to have the Pearl strap on the line for a domestic level clash like Khan vs. Brook than it would be for a mismatch between Khan and Goyat. This is such a huge difference in talent and experience between Khan and Goyat.

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