Amir Khan will start Friday’s WBC international welterweight title bout against Billy Dib as a massive favourite in what’s seen as a mismatch.
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SkyBet (h/t Oddschecker.com) have handed Khan odds of just 1-50, while a Dib upset comes in at 16-1. A draw is even less likely at 25-1.
The fight will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and ring walks are expected around 10 p.m. BST. Free coverage via Channel 5 will start at 9 p.m. BST, and live streaming can be found here.
To say it would be a shock if the unheralded Dib pulled out the win in Jeddah would be an understatement.
Per the Mirror‘s David Anderson, Khan has defended his decision to fight the Australian in what is seen as a money-grabbing bout:
“We’re all prize fighters at the end of the day. I will have no problem when someone else comes along and takes the opportunity to make this sort of money, but when this is my last few fights, why shouldn’t it be me?
“If I didn’t have this new avenue opening up in Saudi Arabia, I’m not sure what I would have done. While I feel so strong and excited with the sport, I would be stupid to walk away from the sport and leave millions behind on the table.”
Dib (45-5, 26 KOs) is a former IBF featherweight champion who announced his retirement after a loss to Tevin Farmer last year.
He returned to the ring earlier this year, however, knocking out Surachet Tongmala in April.
Even during his title reign as a featherweight, Dib never faced the level of competition he will face on Friday. Khan (33-5, 20 KOs) is the much larger fighter as a natural welterweight, and his resume includes wins over the likes of Chris Algieri, Devon Alexander, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana and Paul Malignaggi.
The 32-year-old has lost two of his last four fights, however, including a TKO defeat against Terence Crawford. That loss pushed him out of contention in the welterweight division, but according to WBN’s Ringside, the WBC have confirmed he will go straight back into the top five with a win on Friday.
Khan holds a speed advantage over most opponents, and he should do so again on Friday. Dib has knocked out his opponent in his last two winning performances, but he doesn’t carry much power even for a natural featherweight. As a welterweight, he shouldn’t present much of a challenge for Khan, who is expected to dominate on Friday.