NEW YORK: American Terence Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title Saturday, stopping Amir Khan in the sixth round when the Englishman was unable to continue because of an accidental low blow.
Crawford, who was making the second defence of his title, had little trouble controlling the fight and winning by a technical knockout against the overmatched Khan.
Crawford has now won nine of his last 11 fights by stoppage and Saturday’s surprise ending happened after he hit Khan with a hard left to the groin 47 seconds into the sixth round at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Khan buckled and was in obvious pain as he went over to his corner. During the injury stoppage, Khan’s trainer Virgil Hunter asked his boxer if he wanted to continue and Khan said no. Khan could have taken a five minute break to regain his composure but chose not to.
Amir Khan later took to Twitter to say that he never quit a fight in his life.
“My understanding was that Virgil asked me if the low blow still hurt and I said yes. My intention was to wait it out and continue like always,” he said.
Three division world champion Crawford improved to 35 wins and no losses. Crawford, who is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, sent Khan to the canvas in the first round with an overhand right followed by a left to the temple.
He delivered a similar overhand punch in the last 10 seconds of the round which wobbled Khan’s legs again.
The next couple of rounds saw the 146-pound Crawford throwing almost all his punches at the head of Khan. By the fourth round Crawford was in complete control and Khan’s face was showing the wear of getting hit with clean punches.
Crawford started going to the body in the fourth and in the fifth he got his jab working again, popping Khan’s head back with a series of quick shots.
For Khan, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist, it was another disappointing world title fight. He is 2-2 in his last four fights.
Three years ago he was brutally knocked out by Canelo Alvarez in a middleweight title fight. Saturday’s fight dropped his record in world title fights to 6-4 overall.
In between the Alvarez fight and Saturday’s TKO loss, Khan won two straight bouts against lesser opponents.