"We are fighters and should talk boxing, not personal life problems. Lo Greco showed disrespect."
Amir Khan’s boxing return took a dramatic turn as he threw a glass of water over opponent Phil Lo Greco. The two attended a pre-fight press conference, held on 30th January 2018.
The sportsman’s angry reaction was due to a comment made by Lo Greco, where he referenced Khan’s marital rift with Faryal Makhdoom. He said:
“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. What is wrong with you, mate?”
Immediately, ‘King Khan’ throws the glass of water at his rival and approaches him. Eddie Hearn, sitting between the two fighters, ends up splitting the two apart.
Lo Greco’s comment references the public spat Amir had with his wife. In August 2017, he suggested on Twitter that Faryal had cheated on him with Anthony Joshua.
While he later apologised for the comment, it seems many still remember the tweet. Prior to the incident, the press conference, held in Liverpool, aimed to promote the fight between Amir and Lo Greco, scheduled for 21st April 2018.
WATCH: @amirkingkhan's pre-fight press conference with @Phil_Lo_Greco was temporarily halted after a scuffle broke out between the fighters! ? More here: https://t.co/v2l4iEpxqt #KhanLoGreco https://t.co/o6dmH8iosA
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) January 30, 2018
Prior to the conference, bad blood already existed between the two boxers on social media. The ‘Italian Sensation’ has publicly insulted Amir in the past, calling him “Amir Khandarshian”.
The British Asian boxer even blocked Phil on Twitter, whilst he became embroiled in heated arguments with fans.
Since the incident, Amir has accused his opponent of showing “disrespect” with his comment. He said: “Some times press conferences can get out of hand. We are fighters and should talk boxing, not personal life problems. Lo Greco showed disrespect.”
Lo Greco isn’t the only one to ‘troll’ Amir; Carl Frampton also mocked their press conference. The boxer, whose fight with Nonito Donaire also takes place on 21st April, suggested the incident was nothing more than a publicity stunt.
He tweeted to fans:
Meanwhile… No hype required #FramptonDonaire pic.twitter.com/H1IQzk682F
— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) January 30, 2018
While the rivalry between Amir and Lo Greco heats up, the British Asian boxer hasn’t underestimated the challenge his opponent from Toronto poses toward him.
Amir told Sky Sports: “It is not an easy fight, no fight is easy. A lot of fighters go into fights thinking that it is going to be a tune up and end up getting beat,
“This is not a tune-up fight for me. I am going to train like it is a world title fight and go in there and do what I do best. Lo Greco has said that I’m past my best. I’m 31, I’m at the peak of my career. I feel better than when I was 28.
“A lot has happened in my life but now it’s time to put all that behind me and focus on what I need to do. For me, boxing is the way forward.”
Lo Greco has faced the likes of Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr prior to the upcoming match. However, the Canadian boxer has described Amir as “nothing but a salesman”. He told BBC Sport: “He’s selling you guys.
“You’ve been out for two years. Now you sign with Eddie Hearn and you are selling people that there is hope you can fight Kell Brook.”
This will be the first of three fights that the former World Champion will be having as part of his deal with Matchroom. It will be his first fight in the United Kingdom for nearly a decade.
Judging by this conference, we can only imagine things to get even more heated in the run-up to the 21st April 2018!