Amir Khan (31-4) has been understandably vocal in his condemnation of Saul Canelo Alvarez and his alleged use of the PED, Clenbuterol. However, he will have his own concerns on Saturday night, in the shape of ‘The Italian Sensation’ Phil Lo Greco (28-3).
The Canadian’s previous steps up in class have resulted in two losses. A points defeat to Shawn Porter and a stoppage at the hands of Errol Spence Junior. Lo Greco’s other loss came at the hands of Joseph Elegele, an otherwise underachieving prospect who hasn’t fought since 2016.
Lo Greco hasn’t fought in ten months but that ring absence pales in comparison to Khan’s well publicised two year absence from the ring. In that time he was the subject of tabloid controversy and featured in the popular reality television series “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”, which led rival, Kell Brook, to coin the name ‘Amir Khandashian’ for him. Despite his time away from the sport Khan is of course an overwhelming favourite and justifiably so, he’s technically levels above his opponent and this match-up is ultimately intended as a tune-up from his perspective. Amir Khan fans will believe it’s a case of gauging what level the Bolton man is operating at, rather than wondering about the result. How he fares against Lo Greco will doubtless inform the direction that his new partnership with Matchroom Boxing takes.
Khan is odds on at 1/18 with bookmakers, while Lo Greco comes in at 10/1. Those margins are indicative of the expectation surrounding this fight. However Lo Greco is by no means a push-over and ‘King’ Khan will have to fight a good fight to impress his fans and backers on Saturday night.
Khan’s last outing was his knockout loss to Canelo in 2016, but that loss, which Khan took a massive step up in weight for, is nothing to be ashamed of by any means. In-fact, Khan demonstrated that, at that point at least, he still had his blistering hand speed. Also, if Alvarez’s performance was indeed boosted by PED’s, as current controversy suggests, the loss is even less of a blotch on the UK fighter’s record.
Comparably Lo Greco won last time out, but his opponent was not one to write home about. He claimed a majority decision over Jesus Gurrola (25-13).
Overall a Lo Greco win would be a massive shock and he hasn’t given us any grounds to believe he can deliver said upset. Bigger against the odds wins have happened though, and he is ultimately a competent fighter. Khan’s critics will suggest his chin is vulnerable but the men who gave him that reputation have better credentials than Phil Lo Greco.
The Canadian has just enough merit to be an interesting comeback fight but looks unlikely to trouble Khan. The form book suggests a unanimous decision in Khan’s favour: he hasn’t stopped anyone since 2012 and Errol Spence Junior is the only man to have stopped Lo Greco.