Amir Khan made a blistering return to the ring by beating Phil Lo Greco by stopping his opponent inside 39 seconds at Liverpool’s Echo Arena. (photos by Lawrence Lustig)
The 31-year-old had not fought for two years, since being beaten by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas in May 2016, and he made up for lost time by knocking Canadian Lo Greco down twice in the early stages.
Khan, in his first bout on British soil in five years, sent Lo Greco to the canvas with a swift one-two combination inside the opening 30 seconds.
The contest was over moments later as the Briton’s devastating hand speed pinned his opponent up against the ropes to ensure it was over moments after it had started.
It meant Khan delivered an emphatic statement to Kell Brook, who was watching on from ringside, ahead of a possible all-British grudge match between the two Matchroom stable mates.
Following the fight, the victorious Khan told Sky Sports Main Event: “I’ve been out of the ring for two years I’ve never taken a day off the gym. I’ve had a hand operation and the hand felt good in the fight.
When asked if he is targeting a fight against British opponent Kell Brook, Khan added: “I want to become a world champion again so I want to fight the top guys in the welterweight division.
This was the first of a three-fight deal Khan had signed with Eddie Hearn and his promoter had conceded his fighter could not afford a fifth defeat on his record.
That never looked likely and there was no evidence of any ring rust from Khan either after he changed to trainer Joe Goossen in the build up to this bout.
Lo Greco appeared stunned by Khan’s sheer speed from the outset and as soon as he dropped him with a right hand, it looked like a foregone conclusion.
There was an eight count on that occasion and moments after the two squared off again, a flurry of left hands from Khan ended it all.