Just six weeks after suffering a knockout loss to welterweight world titlist Terence Crawford, Amir Khan announced his next fight on Friday.
Khan, a former unified junior welterweight world titleholder, will challenge India's Neeraj Goyat for his regional welterweight belt on July 12 at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
England's Khan, who is of Pakistani descent, is a devout Muslim and has wanted to fight in the Middle East for years.
"This is an exciting challenge that I have ahead of me. It will be the first time a British Pakistani will fight an Indian boxer, which eventually will bring the two nations together," Khan said. "I would like to thank the Saudi government and General Sports Authority for giving me this opportunity, and I'm a firm believer in sport being a great healer."
The fight will be the first for Khan (33-5, 20 KOs), 32, of England, since he suffered a sixth-round knockout loss to Crawford on April 20 in the main event of an ESPN PPV card at Madison Square Garden in New York. Crawford knocked down Khan in the first round and dominated the fight until it ended when Khan did not continue following an accidental low blow in the sixth round.
Goyat (11-3-2, 2 KOs), 27, was a standout amateur who helped establish professional boxing in India over the past decade. He will be taking a massive step up in competition, although he did win a four-round split decision over Xu Can, who now holds a secondary featherweight world title, in a 2014 junior lightweight bout.
"This opportunity is as big as it gets for me," Goyat said. "Everything that I have achieved to date wouldn't matter when I enter the ring on July 12 taking on a seasoned, established superstar in Amir Khan. I will be carrying the hopes of 1.2 billion [Indians] on my shoulders, who will expect me to bring the [regional] title [home] by causing an upset."
The fight will be the second notable boxing event backed by the Saudi General Sports Authority to take place in Jeddah in the past year.
In September, the King Abdullah Sports City served as the host when Callum Smith knocked out George Groves to win a super middleweight world title in the final of the World Boxing Super Series 168-pound tournament.
Khan and Goyat will take part in a four-city media tour to promote the bout, beginning Friday in Delhi, India. On Saturday, they will be in Karachi, Pakistan, followed by a news conference in London on Thursday and one in Jeddah on June 24.