LIVERPOOL: Boxer Amir Khan threw water over opponent Phil Lo Greco on Tuesday – reacting to talk about his personal life.
The pair meet in Liverpool on 21 April, when British welterweight Khan fights for the first time in nearly two years.
At a pre-fight promotional event, Lo Greco pointed to Khan’s family issues and marital difficulties since losing to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May 2016.
And the former world champion, 31, responded by throwing water at the Canadian, prompting an on-stage melee.
Lo Greco 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?”
Lo Greco’s reference was to a tweet Khan sent to Anthony Joshua in August 2017. It concerned his own marriage and Khan later apologised to the British heavyweight for sending it.
After security had calmed the clash on stage, promoter Eddie Hearn asked Lo Greco to apologise, while Khan later said his rival’s behaviour would serve as motivation to “give this guy a beating”.
The Bolton boxer, who has won 31 of his 35 professional bouts, has signed a three-fight deal with Matchroom after ending a long-running feud with Hearn.
The media gathering looked capable of boiling over as the pair goaded one another from the outset. Lo Greco thanked Hearn for giving him three months’ notice for the bout, prompting Khan to quickly respond: “He saw the size of you.”
Lo Greco, who has 28 wins from 31 fights, replied by pointing at his chin to shout “double chin” before pointing at Khan’s and stating “glass chin”.
Fans at the Liverpool event were quick to shout down Lo Greco, who branded Khan “nothing but a salesman”.
“He’s selling you guys,” said the Toronto boxer. “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.”
Lo Greco told Khan he was looking for a “dog fight” on the night and warned the Briton his career would “only get worse” as a result of the heavy knockout he suffered against Alvarez, when he made a one-time step up to middleweight.
Khan, flanked by his father Shah at the media event, refused to apologise to Lo Greco for throwing water but said sorry to those in attendance.
He told those gathered that time spent on reality television show ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ has helped him lose weight to aid his training camp, which will begin under US-based coach Virgil Hunter this week.
“I will train like it’s a world-title fight,” said Khan. “Greco says maybe I’m past my best. I’m 31 and at the peak of my career. For me, boxing is the way forward. Boxing put me here and I am going to finish on a high.
“I have a great three-fight deal. To start in Liverpool, a great city, this will be another big one. He has just motivated me to go to the gym and work hard. I am going to give this guy a beating for 12 rounds.”
— Sheldan Keay (@SheldanKeay) January 30, 2018