Virgil Hunter, trainer for former world champion Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs), says his boxer will be matched very tough in training camp - because the veteran coach wants to get a good read on where Khan stands, mentally and physically, as a fighter.
Khan is scheduled to return to the ring on April 21, in a showdown with Phil Lo Greco at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
The contest will be the first for Khan in nearly two years. He was last seen in the ring back in May 2016, when he moved up to a catch-weight of 155-pounds and was knocked out in six rounds by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Khan and Lo Greco had a brief scuffle on Tuesday, when they came together for a press conference to announce their showdown.
While most have already written Lo Greco off in the contest, Hunter views him as a tough opponent.
"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.
Hunter is taking no chances in the contest, he wants to test Khan's abilities in every way possible to ensure the Bolton fighter is still capable of competing at the highest level.
Khan will fly to the United States to train with Hunter in Oakland, California.
"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," Hunter said.
"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.
"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. 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."