Amir Khan vs Terence Crawford result: American calls on Khan to ‘tell the truth’ and labels him a ‘quitter’

Khan ended the WBO welterweight title bout in the sixth round after receiving a low blow from Crawford, telling his corner he was not able to continue that triggered an angry reaction from the champion

Jack de Menezes
Sunday 21 April 2019 08:27
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Amir Khan v Terence Crawford: Amir Khan protests accusations he quit

Terence Crawford called out Amir Khan to admit he is “a quitter” after the pair’s WBO welterweight title fight ended in controversy on Saturday night, with the American claiming a TKO victory after the British boxer said he could not continue following a low blow.

Khan was knocked down in the very first round by 31-year-old Crawford, whose victory adds to his reputation as one of the best pound-for-pound boxer’s in the world. But despite recovering and getting back into the fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Crawford punched Khan with a low shot below the belt that left him in pain.

Under the regulations, Khan had five minutes to recover if he wanted to continue, but barely a minute had passed when he informed trainer Virgil Hunter that he could not box on, resulting in Crawford being declared the winner as it was not an obvious deliberate low blow – which would have resulted in disqualification – and a cacophony of boos from the crowd for Khan.

"First of all I want to apologise to all of the fans. The fight was just getting interesting,” Khan told ESPN straight after the fight.

"Terence is a great fighter, you know I'm not taking anything away from him. I now realise why he's one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

"I'm a good boxer but he was showcasing great skill, great movement. I was caught with a shot right below the belt and I could feel it. I was in pain."

Khan added that he could feel the blow in his stomach and his legs "kind of seized" as a result.

"I couldn't continue, I could not continue. I'm not one to give up any fight. I'll fight to the end, you have to knock me out to get me to give up you know. I was hit with a hard shot below the belt."

But in the post-fight press conference where both Crawford and Khan were alongside each other, Crawford accused Khan of quitting and told him to admit the truth as everyone knew it, with replays showing that the punch did not catch him flush and was more towards his hip.

“First of all it wasn't a low blow,” Crawford said. “And second of all Virgil (Hunter) knew the fight was going in a bad direction and saved his fighter before anything bad happened to him.

Khan pulled out of his welterweight title fight against Crawford in the sixth round

“He was looking for a way out. I saw him shaking his head and talking to his trainer and I thought ‘oh hell I know he's going to quit’. I don't like to win a fight like that.”

Khan immediately interrupted to fight his corner, telling Crawford: “I don't quit and I didn't quit. Crawford is a great fighter and if people want to say I quit it’s up to them.

But Crawford wasn’t finished yet, adding: “You didn't quit? Tell the truth.”

The defeat is the fifth of Khan’s career and proves that he is a level below the very best in the business, having also been convincingly beaten by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson (who failed a post-fight drugs test) and Breidis Prescott early in his career.

Khan had already been knocked down in the first round

But trainer Hunter stressed that even though Khan’s corner knew he was behind on the scorecards, Saturday’s defeat was not one that showed Khan should retire from the sport, and he even believed that the Bolton-born 32-year-old was starting to find his feet in the bout.

"The crowd will always be bloodthirsty and want to see a dramatic ending but you have to look out for the safety of the fighter,” Hunter told BBC Five Live. “He's not the kind of fighter to make things up. I believe he was incapacitated.

"We knew we were behind but Amir was starting to work things out and pick up his rhythm."

The fight was called off in the sixth round

Hunter added that it was not "the type of beating that says he should retire".

"He showed he could move - his legs aren't gone - but he fought a hell of a champion tonight. I will be honest with him when I think it's time to retire.”

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