Khan vs Lo Greco: Virgil Hunter promises tough sparring for Amir Khan return
By Neel Khagram
Last Updated: 30/01/18 6:20pm
Trainer Virgil Hunter says Amir Khan "has a lot to prove" ahead of his return to the ring on April 21.
The Bolton star has not fought since suffering a knockout defeat to Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in May 2016, and his lead corner-man believes a tough training camp is needed before facing a seasoned opponent such as Phil Lo Greco, at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, live on Sky Sports.
"Lo Greco's fought some good people. I wouldn't classify him as an opponent. I would classify him as a tough opponent," Hunter said to fighthype.com.
I am going to make sure he has tough sparring. You know, very tough sparring. He's going to be challenged in sparring.
"Amir Khan has a lot to prove, being out that length of time. He's coming off a knockout. I think the best way for me is just assessing through camp to get an accurate reading on him.
"The only way I can honestly really, really get a reading on him is just to watch him day in and day out and I am going to make sure he has tough sparring. You know, very tough sparring. He's going to be challenged in sparring."
Lo Greco has been defeated three times in 28 fights, including notable losses to Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr.
The 33-year-old Canadian called Khan "mentally weak" this week following a war of words on social media, and clashed with his opponent at the pre-fight press conference after the pair went face to face for the first time.
Both fighters will now fly to North America to start training camp, and Hunter - Khan's coach since 2012 - is keen to assess the condition of his fighter from both a physical and mental standpoint when they are reunited in Oakland, California.
"He is coming with plenty of time to prepare but, yeah, he'll find out that he has ring rust. It's impossible not to," he said.
"My concern, mentally, where he is. But 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 lived here you would assume he'd be dropping through the gym and working out some."
Watch Amir Khan vs Phil Lo Greco, live from the Echo Arena, Liverpool, on April 21, live on Sky Sports.