Amir Khan vs Phil Lo Greco

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Amir Khan vs Phil Lo Greco
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Date: 
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Location: 
Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK
Contracted Weight: 
147

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Champion97's picture

Prediction,

This is a note worthy fight, hard to hype up, for a few reasons, but certainly one to follow.

Amir Khan is declining, at 30/31, coming off nearly 2 years of inactivity, over 3 full years without a year which contained two fights of his, it does not look good for him. The last time I think you could say Khan was a major player in the welterweight division was when he defeated Devon Alexander in December, 2014, at this point, he had lost, learned, and was in the prime of his career, since then, he has secured a decent victory, defeating Chris Algieri, and fought Saul Alvarez, he was knocked out cold in 6 rounds. There is no reason whatsoever for Khan to be improving, or even not have the issue of declining, some fighters can be at the peak of their careers in their early thirties, but fighters who have miles, and have not fought in 2 years, are not some of them.

I think Phil Lo Greco is a half decent fighter, he has won far more fights than he has lost, he's 33, so not too old to make this kind of fight competitive, but the only two big fights he has ever been in, are 2 of his 3 losses. Lo Greco lost a very wide 10 round decision (by margins of 10-12 points) to Shawn Porter in 2013, he then fought on Porter's undercard, 2 years later, taking on now world champion and then promising prospect, Errol Spence Jr, he tried, toughed it out for some long minutes, but he was an early stoppage victim, the fight ended in 3 rounds. There is no shame in losing to Spence and Porter, there is also no shame in failing to be competitive in fights against opposition of that calibre, but nonetheless, it is hard to consider Lo Greco a good, world level fighter, given that these are his only two fights against opponents who are near even the level below the top pound for pound league of boxers. In terms of activity, Lo Greco has lost half of his last 6 fights, he had a busy 2015 (which was the year he lost to Spence), but had only one fight in each the years 2016 and 17, losing a close but unanimous decision to Joseph Elegele in 2016. Lo Greco is going into this fight, as the away fighter, the underdog, but also the guy who has been more active over the past 2 or 3 years.

I think Amir Khan will do the expected, and win this fight. I think Lo Greco will try his best, and early, I think the first 2-3 rounds, he could have some success, take advantage of Khan's ring rust, but I see the difference in levels being apparent by, easily round 5, I think Khan's hand speed may not quite be what it once was, but it may be, and even if not, it is a great attribute of his, and I think will be major problem for Lo Greco. Khan's ability to control distance is not something I think Lo Greco can negate or work around. Khan has a vulnerable chin, so Lo Greco would be wise to take an aggressive approach to the fight, aim to set up one big shot, but do just that, set it up, if he can, he can half punch, he has stopped about half his opponents, but he isn't a relatively big puncher, he may be about as heavy handed as Khan. Lo Greco has to do as Paulie Malignaggi said any Khan opponent should do, "if you try to box Khan, you're doing yourself no favours, you have to fight him!", I'm not sure I've ever seen Khan out boxed, but he has been knocked out 3 times.

I think Khan's got the kind of power which is limited, but boosted by his speed, he throws in combinations, he switches from head to body well, he judges distance very well, I see him dominating Lo Greco, getting the better of almost all the exchanges, and I think as the round go by, Lo Greco will become more discouraged, and at some point, his corner will decide not to send him out for the next round, I would be surprised if it happened any earlier than after 6, but I don't think Lo Greco will compete beyond 8. Even if Khan impresses with this performance, I won't be convinced he would come close to beating any of the champions at 147, but maybe, if he wins this fight, wins another, next year, he could have a final opportunity, a shot against Spence, Thurman, Horn/Crawford, but he will never be as good as he was in 2014, I highly doubt.

Champion97's picture

Tale of the tape

Khan
Height: 174
Reach: 180
Age: 31
Fights: 35
Wins: 31
KO percentage: 54
Year of debut: 2005
World title contests: 9
Activity rate (2016-present): 1 fight
Opponents with losing records: 4
Unbeaten opponents: 3
Best win (opinionated): Marcos Maidana (December 2010, UD)
Career heaviest weight: 155
Career lightest weight: 134

Lo Greco
Height: 173
Reach: 173
Age: 33
Fights: 31
Wins: 28
KO percentage: 48
Year of debut: 2006
World title contests: 0
Activity rate (2016-present): 2 fights
Opponents with losing records: 8
Unbeaten opponents: 1
Best win (opinionated): Slawomir Ziemlewicz (June 2010, KO 9)
Career heaviest weight: 163
Career lightest weight: 146

Best opponents between them.
1. Saul Alvarez (Khan lost, KO 6)
2. Errol Spence Jr (Lo Greco lost, TKO 3)
3. Shawn Porter (Lo Greco lost, UD)
4. Danny Garcia (Khan lost, TKO 4)
5. Marcos Maidana (Khan won, UD)
6. Lamont Peterson (Khan lost, SD)
7. Chris Algieri (Khan won, UD)
8. Devon Alexander (Khan won, UD)
9. Luis Collazo (Khan won, UD)
10. Paulie Malignaggi (Khan won, TKO 11)