Amir Khan vs. Phil Lo Greco – Official weights
By Scott Gilfoid: Amir ‘King’ Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) weighed in right at the limit of 150 pounds for his catch-weight fight against high-level gatekeeper Phil Lo Greco (28-3, 15 KOs) for their 12 round fight this Saturday night on Sky Sports at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
The 33-year-old Lo Greco weighed in 1 pound under the 150lb. weight limit at 149 lbs. Khan, 5’8 ½”, looked considerably taller than the 5’8” Lo Greco, even though they’re supposedly just a half inch apart in height.
If Khan loses to Lo Greco, his career is basically over. Khan’s promoter Eddie Hearn will probably still make the fight between him and Kell Brook anyway for this summer, but it might be pointless.
This is Khan’s first fight in the UK in five years since 2013, and his first fight in the last two years. It’s thought that Khan and his promoter Eddie Hearn selected a junior middleweight to fight so that they could use Lo Greco as a warm-up for Kell Brook, who now fights at 154. Khan could face Brook either in the summer or later this year. It’ll be up to Khan, as he’s the decider.
If Khan looks good against Lo Greco on Saturday night, it might plant ideas in his head that he can beat the 31-year-old Brook, who is clearly fading at this point in his career despite looking good against the hand-picked Sergey Rabchenko last March.
Former IBF/WBA light welterweight Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) is emerging from a 2-year career slumber after his knockout loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez in May of 2016. Khan seemingly lost interest in boxing after that defeat, although he says much of his inactivity was the result of a hand operation on his right hand. Being out of the ring for 2 years obviously wasn’t because of just Khan’s hand.
There seems to have been some inertia involved as well, which happens to fighters when they start taking it easy and enjoying the fruit of their labors. In Khan’s case, he made a bundle of money in his fight against Canelo, which was televised on HBO PPV in the States. Making the kind of loot that Khan did against Canelo, one can understand why he’s been sitting on his backside for the last two years living the high life while jetting around the world. It’s a surprise to me that the 31-year-old Khan was able to break from his inertia and get back into the ring to face the high level journeyman/gatekeeper Lo Greco. However, it’s generally assumed by many boxing fans that Khan is just coming back for the cash out fight against Brook, because he can make a mess of dough from that fight. It doesn’t matter if Khan loses the fight to Brook. The money will be so good that it’ll make up for the loss.
Joe Goosen will be in Khan’s corner as his new trainer for the Lo Greco fight. Goosen is replacing Khan’s former trainer Virgil Hunter, who recently had a medical emergency. Khan decided to go a different path for this fight. Goosen is a good trainer, but he’s obviously not going to be able to fix Khan’s chin problem. If Lo Greco lands one of his slow but powerful punches on the chin of Khan on Saturday, Goosen won’t be able to prevent him from dropping for the 10 count. It’ll be up to Khan to be able to handle the shots from Lo Greco on Saturday. What we do know is Lo Greco is going to be targeting Khan’s chin the entire fight rather than looking to land body shots.
“You are going to expect to see an electrifying Amir Khan,” he told Sky Sports News. “You will see the speed, the explosiveness, the power. For two years I’ve been out of the ring, but in those two years I’ve changed my style a little bit. I’ve spent more time in the gym.”
Khan has been out of the ring on his own accord. He could have come back ages ago, but he decided to stay out of action. Khan’s fight with Lo Greco won’t prove much though, as he’s already been steamrolled by Errol Spence in three rounds in 2015, and beaten by someone named Joseph Elegele by a 10 round unanimous decision in 2016. Lo Greco has fought just once since the lost to the obscure fighter Elegele and that was a close 8 round majority decision win over journeyman Jesus Gurrola (24-12-3) last June in Canada. Lo Greco barely beating Gurrola obviously isn’t a good sign. Khan and the wily Hearn likely saw how hard of a time Lo Greco had in his last fight, and they might have gotten the idea form that fight that he would be the perfect comeback opponent for a showcase fight.
Khan always looks good until he gets hit. That’s when he sometimes falls apart. Khan’s stamina could be a factor in this fight if he’s unable to score a fast knockout of Lo Greco. Chris Algieri was able to wear Khan down and almost beat him in their fight in May 2015. Khan looked exhausted by the 6th round, and he looked like a tired old man in the last half of the fight. Khan won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision, but it looked like it should have been a draw. In Khan’s last fight against Canelo Alvarez, he faded after four rounds. Khan looked tired by the 5th, and that’s when he began to take hard shots from Canelo.
On the Khan-Lo Greco undercard, welterweight prospect Conor Benn (11-0, 8 KOs) will be facing the light hitting journeyman Chris Truman (13-8, 2 KOs) in a six round fight. The 33-year-old Truman is coming into Saturday’s fight with a 4-fight losing streak. Hearn is obviously not taking any chances with Benn after his close call six rounds decision win over Cecrick Peynaud (5-5-3) in his last fight in December. Benn was knocked down two times in round one, and really hammered throughout the contest. Benn did comeback to drop the journeyman Peynaud in rounds 5 and 6, but he still took a massive beating in the fight. At the end of the fight, Benn’s face looked badly lumped up as if he’d been in a war zone.