Amir Khan Returns To The Ring, As A Celebrity Or A Boxer?
While Amir Khan is one of the biggest names in boxing, the same can’t be said for Canadian fighter Phil Lo Greco, who he’s facing on Saturday in a 150 pound catchweight fight after a two year layoff. Lo Greco had heavily campaigned for the fight on social media, and it paid off, getting him the spot as the opponent in Khan’s first fight for Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport.
“Social media is the biggest way of getting your name out there,” Khan told FIGHT SPORTS.
“Phil Lo Greco, he did it the right way. He went out there, called me out time after time, and before you knew it, boom, he got the fight. He’s not really got a big social media following, but he’s getting out there to where all the news people and all the people started talking about him.” What Khan calls “the right way” still heated him up to the point that he threw water at the Canadian after the latter made a comment indicating that his last fight—his loss to Canelo Alvarez—sent his personal life on a downward spiral.
“After the Canelo loss you went on a losing streak – family, wife, and then you go out and tweet to the heavyweight champion of the world,” Lo Greco said in January, referring to a series of tweets from Khan saying that his wife left him for Anthony Joshua. “What is wrong with you, mate?”
“Sometimes, you have to use your mouth, and he’s one who used his mouth, and look, he got the fight,” Khan explained.
“It is what it is. Boxing’s a business, and by him talking the way he did, it made the fight sell quick, and people kind of got behind the fight and got interested to see why he’s talking all this trash.” Later, he added that “I’ve always had my feet on the ground, I’ve been calm and collected that way and let others do the talking,”
On top of the gossip, Khan is just a few months removed from being a cast member on the UK version of “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Outta Here,” so his celebrity is at an all-time high at home. “I think there’s a lot of interest from non-boxing fans to see what I’m about,” Khan said of the reality/game show stint. “I fight as a boxer and they wanna see what I’m good at doing.”
“It’ll be good to give them a chance to see what I’m really all about,” he added. “It’s been a few years now since I’ve fought in the UK, it’s gonna be nice to fight for the UK fans. Selling the arena out was not a problem. I think if we had to do it all over again, it would be very easy. There are a lot of people who I could fight against in the UK after so long, and the last couple fights have been in America, I think, just to hype people to see me back here.”
Khan also believes that this fight will be particularly big for him because fans had gotten used to watching him in the middle of the night on American cards, so a fight at a more conventional hour is a pleasant change of pace. “This time, I’m fighting in prime time,” he said. “It’s really exciting, I think Lo Greco is going to come ready and show up. It’s the longest time he’s had to train for a fight, he’s had a full training camp of 10 weeks. So there’s no excuses, I’m facing the best Phil Lo Greco in front of an electrified crowd.”