Top Rank live boxing makes its debut on ESPN+ when former unified 140-pound champion, Amir ‘King’ Khan, returns to the ring against Phil ‘The Italian Sensation’ Lo Greco on Saturday, April 21 in a 12-round welterweight bout at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Khan-Lo Greco will stream exclusively in the U.S. at 5:30 p.m. ET as part of the international Top Rank on ESPN series. ESPN+ is the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-to-Consumer and International group, in partnership with ESPN.
Undercard action, including undefeated welterweight prospect Conor Benn and super welterweight standout Anthony Fowler in separate bouts, starts at 1:30 p.m. ET.
“I'm delighted to work with ESPN and Top Rank to deliver another big night of British boxing to U.S. fight fans,” said Matchroom Boxing Managing Director Eddie Hearn, promoter of Khan. “It's a must-win night for Amir as he launches an attack on the welterweight division in 2018. The pressure is on and the rewards are high as Amir bids to become a two-weight world ruler.”
“I am going to make a big statement on April 21,” Khan said. “I’m not going to make any mistakes. No fight is easy and I’m very focused on beating Phil and beating him well.”
Khan (31-4, 19 KOs), from Bolton, England, is fighting for the first time in his home country since 2013, a long-awaited return for the native son who captured a silver medal (132 pounds) at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He won the first 18 bouts of his career before a shocking first-round KO loss to Breidis Prescott on Sept. 6, 2008. Three fights later, Khan won the World Boxing Association (WBA) super lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Andriy Kotelnik. In 2011, he unified titles with a fifth-round knockout over International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Zab Judah.
Following a two-bout losing skid, Khan won five bouts in a row to earn a shot at World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on May 7, 2016 in Las Vegas. Facing a significant size disadvantage, Khan fought at even terms with Alvarez until a right hand knocked him out at 2:37 of the sixth round. Khan’s ring return comes with a new trainer, Joe Goossen, who has worked with a plethora of world champions, including Joel Casamayor, Michael Nunn, Gabriel Ruelas, Rafael Ruelas, and Diego Corrales.
Lo Greco (28-3, 15 KOs), from Toronto, turned pro in 2006 and won the first 25 bouts of his career. He has gone 3-3 in his last six fights, although two of those losses have come against opponents — Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr. — who went on to win the IBF welterweight title. In his last bout, on June 30, 2017 in Niagara Falls, Canada, Lo Greco overcame a tough challenge from Jesus Gurrola to win an eight-round majority decision.