Amir Khan (31-4, 19KOs) makes his return to the ring after a 2-year absence against Canadian Phil Lo Greco (28-3, 15KOs) at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, England.
This will be the first of a three fight contract under the guidance of new promoter Eddie Hearn and the first time in five years since the Olympic silver medalist last fought on British soil.
There are so many talking points inside and outside the ring when it comes to Amir Khan that he’s more like a character from a reality TV show rather than a professional boxer. I only want to look at the boxer and not the guy that airs his dirty laundry on social media.
After the devastating knockout defeat against drug cheat Canelo Alvarez in 2016 and following corrective surgery to his right hand it will be intriguing to see how much of the old Khan is left.
Preparations for this fight have been affected by coach Virgil Hunter being hospitalised. Khan acted quickly when he realised that his trainer would not be well enough to get the 31-year-old fight ready by drafting in Joe Goosen. With the greatest of respect to Virgil Hunter I actually believe the arrival of Goosen could be a blessing in disguise. Not only is he a better coach but talk of working on Khan’s vulnerabilities on the inside could be exactly what Khan needs.
The former unified super-lightweight world champion has had 35 fights and accumulated 209 rounds with a 54% knockout ratio. His combined opponent record stands at 846-167-23 which shows how experienced the Englishman is but due to 2-years of inactivity he is not currently ranked.
When you look into Khan’s CV it is full of an abundance of talent compared to his opponents weak boxing record. I mean no disrespect to Lo Greco but on paper this fight should be a formality.
Names like the legendary Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera, Paul Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Devon Alexander and Luis Collazo have all fallen short against ‘King Khan’. But loses against Breidis Prescott, Lamont Peterson which was very controversial, Danny Garcia and Canelo Álvarez show vulnerabilities.
His opponent from Canada is ranked 101 in the world and in 31 fights has accumulated 162 rounds with a 48% knockout ratio. He has a combined opponent record of 417-299-43. Eveytime the 33-year-old has attempted to step up in class he has been soundly beaten. Shawn Porter outpointed him and Errol Spence Jr got rid of him in 3 rounds.
In my opinion the only way Khan loses this fight is if he is to overconfident or allows the brash talking Canadian to get under his skin. This was evident in their press conference with the water-gate incident.
Khan is more experienced, possesses the faster hand speed and should be able to counter anything his opponent has to offer. The danger for Khan is if he is caught with a shot and what his reaction would be if he were to get wobbled.
I believe this will be an easy nights work for Khan. He will be nervous in the first few rounds so he needs to fight on the outside and find his rhythm. I wouldn’t be surprised if Khan was to stop his opponent in the late rounds but I think this will go the 12 round distance and Khan to win unanimously. For Lo Greco to stand a chance he will have to hope he connects with a big punch but I cannot see that happening.
With this fight being at a catchweight of 150lbs it opens the door for a Brook-Khan showdown later in the year or beginning of 2019. That is of course as long as Khan wins and doesn’t suffer any cuts or injuries that could keep him out of the ring for a long period of time. Khan will need to stay active with maybe one more fight in a few months before agreeing a deal to fight Brook.
Good luck to both fighters and happy viewing boxing fans!