Hunter concerned with Khan mentally, sees Lo Greco as “tough opponent”
By Tim Royner: Amir Khan’s trainer Virgil Hunter says he doesn’t view Phil ‘The Italian Sensation’ Lo Greco (28-3, 15 KOs) as being a tune-up level opponent. He sees him as a tough fighter, who has a good training team behind him.
Hunter wants to see where the 31-year-old Khan is at mentally, because he lives far away in England and he doesn’t drop by his gym to workout in between fights like other fighters do that live in the Bay Arena of California. Hunter’s gym is in Hayward, California, and Khan only trains there when he’s getting ready for a fight. It’s been ages since Khan fought unfortunately.
Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) will be fighting Lo Greco on April 21 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Khan will need to start training soon with Hunter if he wants to be ready to face the 33-year-old Lo Greco on April 21.
“My concern, mentally, where he is,” Hunter said to Fighthype about Khan. “Until he gets here it’s hard to say. Him living so far away, I don’t get any accurate assessment of, you know, what he’s doing, where he’s at. If he lives here you would assume he’d be dropping through the gym and workout out some,”Hunter said.
Hopefully, Khan doesn’t fall apart during training camp when Hunter puts him in with some tough sparring partners. If Khan starts getting knocked out, it would be a bad sign for him and his chances against Lo Greco.
The ‘Italian Sensation’ Lo Greco was viewed as a good prospect before he was put in with Shawn Porter in 2013. There were boxing fans there high on Lo Greco due to his power and entertaining style of fighting. Lo Greco was done no favors by being matched against Porter and then Errol Spence. Lo Greco wasn’t ready for either of those fights. After Lo Greco’s loss to Porter, he should have been matched carefully to build him back up rather than being thrown in with Spence on 3 days’ notice.
Hunter says he’s going to have Khan go through a lot of hard sparring in preparation for the fight with Lo Greco. He wants to see how Khan does in the sparring, because he’s coming off of a bad knockout loss, and he wants to make sure he’s mentally there. Khan took 2 years off after his loss to Canelo Alvarez in May 2016.
”Lo Greco’s fought some good people. I wouldn’t classify him as an opponent,” Hunter said. ”I would classify him as a tough opponent.”
Lo Greco has been in with Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr. and Joseph Elegele. Those are good fighters. Lo Greco lost to all 3 of them.
If Khan’s promoter Eddie Hearn has miscalculated Lo Greco’s talent, then he may see his fighter take a loss on April 21. That would be bad for Hearn and Khan. It would be the end of Khan’s career, and the end of Hearn’s dream of a fight between Khan and Kell Brook.
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