Terence Crawford retains title over Amir Khan after accidental low blow
Terence Crawford dominated, but didn’t get the finish that he was seeking against Amir Khan.
Terence Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title against Amir Khan by TKO, but the stoppage came with some controversy. After an accidental low blow in the sixth round, Khan claimed that he couldn’t continue; prompting trainer Virgil Hunter to stop the fight.
Crawford (35-0, 26KOs) had a strong showing in his second defense of the title none the less as he showcased his power and fast hands. Khan had several moments in the fight, but never really managed to put Crawford into trouble with his speed.
At the opening round, Khan (33-5, 20KOs) looked to utilize his hand speed early on by throwing the jab to set up combinations. Crawford used his footwork and body movement to keep his distance, and prevent Khan from finding his comfort zone inside.
As Khan tried to unload a combination upstairs, Crawford tagged him with a straight right; causing Khan’s legs to stagger. Crawford then seized the moment immediately by following up with a left hook, dropping Khan with 43 seconds left in the round. He appeared to be fine as he recollected himself and hung on for the remainder of the round.
Khan saw better moments in the second and third rounds, where he began to find his jab and straight right hands. Though he landed a couple of straight rights on Crawford, Crawford kept his composure and was unfazed by Khan’s attack. Khan evidently lacked the same speed that gave his opponents all sorts of trouble at junior welterweight.
In the fourth round, Crawford continued to feel out Khan and look for the counter. In the last minute of the round, he became more aggressive as he closed the distance and landed a couple of hard hooks to Khan’s body. The punches appeared to hurt Khan, but he took them well.
Crawford turned his attack upstairs in the fifth round, landing right hooks and straight left hands from the southpaw stance. Khan held his ground and landed a small right hand and left hook of his own in the round.
The pace of the fight continued to pick up as both Khan and Crawford came out swinging in the sixth round. About one minute into the round, Crawford accidentally hit Khan with a low blow on a left hook.
As usually the case with accidental low blows, referee David Fields gave Khan five minutes to recover. And then things took an unusual turn.
Khan was hurt from the shot, but took less than one minute of recovery time before telling his corner that he couldn’t continue. Crawford was visibly disappointed with Khan, as Fields called a stop to the fight; giving Crawford the TKO victory.
“First of all it wasn’t a low blow,” said Crawford. “And second of all, Virgil knew the fight was going in a bad direction; he saved his fighter before anything bad happened to him.”
The WBO champion of Omaha, Nebraska, insisted that he is ready to square off against another fellow title holder at welterweight, who’s name he hears often.
“There’s only one fight they’re talking about and that’s (Errol) Spence,” said Crawford. “Whenever he ready, I’m here.”
Khan, of Bolton, England, was disappointed with the loss and insisted that he had no choice but to call for a stop. The bout was his first championship fight since he was knocked out cold by Canelo Alvarez in May 2016.
“I was caught with a shot right below the belt,” said Khan. “I could feel it in my stomach, that’s the reason I couldn’t continue. I could feel it in the legs. I’ve never been hit below the belt. I’m a warrior, I would never give up a fight like this.”