Will King Khan become King of the Ring?
With 31 wins from 35 professional bouts - 19 by the way of KO - this bout represents something of a homecoming for 31-year-old Khan, who’s 1/20 to beat Lo Greco. A crushing sixth round knockout loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May 2016 was the last time Khan was seen inside a ring and, despite bravely moving up two weight divisions to middleweight to face the Mexican world champion, that fourth defeat of his career saw him take an extended break from the sport.
However, Khan, an Olympic silver medallist in Athens 2004, has been in bullish mood ahead of Saturday’s fight, claiming he’s a better boxer than before, having learned from the previous blemishes on his record. This is backed up by several of the betting markets, with the home fighter 4/11 to claim the 32nd win of his distinguished career by KO, TKO or disqualification.
This weekend represents Khan’s first fight under the guidance of new trainer Joe Goossen, replacing Virgil Hunter, who had to relinquish his role following health problems. Goossen, based in Southern California, has a proven track record, having previously trained the likes of Diego Corrales to a WBC lightweight title in 2005, and he will offer his fighter an experienced, calming voice from ringside.
Khan is odds-on favourite with several bookmakers to see off the challenge of Lo Greco before a potential War of the Roses showdown with Sheffield’s Kell Brook. The ‘favourite’ tag brings added pressure to a fighter, but defeat would be almost unthinkable from the perspective of the Khan camp, given the two-year break he has had away from the ring to reflect and adapt to his shortcomings.
Khan may not be able to produce the dazzling display of boxing tricks many loyal fans know he’s capable of in his first bout back, but on paper, he will surely have too much in his locker to be deeply troubled by Lo Greco.
Could Lo Greco shock the boxing world?
Lo Greco, the 33-year old, Canadian-born former WBC International Welterweight Champion, is the rank outsider on Saturday night, unfancied by the bookmakers to cause what would be an almighty upset on foreign soil. Yet, despite being 17/2 in the Draw No Bet markets, ‘The Italian Sensation’ has undergone an intensive 11-week training camp in preparation for this bout, and will be looking to pack a punch, backing up his confident persona with an assured and established performance.
However, the Toronto man has only fought twice over the past two years, registering a loss to American Joseph Elegele in Lakeland in 2016, followed by a majority decision victory over Mexican Jesus Gurrola in Niagara Falls in 2017. With 28 victories in 31 professional bouts - 15 by KO – and 162 rounds under his belt, Lo Greco possesses the repertoire and experience to at least trouble Khan, but that may be as good as it gets for the travelling Canadian, with 12/5 odds for the fight to end in Rounds 7-9.
Sports.net’s Top Tip for Khan v Lo Greco
|Method of Victory||
Amir Khan by Decision or Technical Decision
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.