Terence Crawford dominates Amir Khan before farcical low-blow ending

Gareth A Davies
Amir Khan collapses to the floor - Action Images via Reuters

Terence Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title in what will be forever discussed as a farcical ending following a dominant performance against Briton Amir Khan.

Crawford felled Khan in the opening round, and then dominated with heavy shots and attacks, switching to the southpaw stance in the third round.

With Crawford winning every round and Khan marked up to face and body, the end looked near in every round.

But a low blow in the sixth round, which was clearly in the groin, gave Khan’s trainer Virgil Hunter the opportunity to step in and call off the contest.

Hunter told the ringside doctor to end the fight as Khan tried to recover but was clearly in discomfort.

"Khan told me he'd could not feel his legs so I did not want him to go on," Hunter told The Daily Telegraph.

In the aftermath, Crawford and promoter Bob Arum called on boxing manager Al Haymon and the IBF welterweight Errol Spence for a unification.

It would represent an All-American mega-fight to compare with Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard in the Eighties.

Amir Khan after a low-blow shot from Terence Crawford Credit: action images

Crawford said after the fight: “The fight I want next is Errol Spence (IBF champion). Whenever he is ready, he can come and get it.

"I could tell I was breaking him (Khan) down. It was just a matter of time. I just took my time. I was disappointed the corner stopped the fight in that manner, but Virgil is a great coach, and he was looking out for his fighter. I know he didn't want to go out like that."

"Benavidez and Gamboa were 10 times faster than him," said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “We want to fight Errol Spence. Everyone wants the fight. There is one guy stopping it, and that is Al Haymon.”

Arum was also disappointed with Khan's pullout in the sixth round. "It was bullsh--.  I've been promoting this sport for 55  years and Khan should have carried on. It was bullsh--".

Khan said: "I don't usually give up but I felt something in my legs and my stomach. I will, go back and assess my future with my family. I now know why he is the best fighter in the world."

5:36AM

Round Six - Crawford takes the win

Low blow from Crawford on Khan. Broken hand, now broken cojones. He staggers to the corner. The referee stands over Khan, calls the doctor into the corner and the fight is over.

No point is deducted as far as I can see. The crowd of 14,091 in here gives out a huge OOOOO as they see the replay. 

But Khan has retired, the corner have pulled him out and the fight is over in the sixth stanza.

My feeling is that Crawford would have stopped Khan anyway in this round off the next.

It was deemed an accidental blow.

47 seconds of round 6. Crawford wins by technical knockout. 

Amir Khan after being knocked down Credit:  MIKE SEGAR/Reuters

 

5:29AM

Round Five - Khan clings on 

Heavy, heavy shots from the champion Crawford. Khan is still just in there. He has told trainer Virgil Hunter between rounds that he has hurt his right hand.

Two low left upper city from Crawford. Huge right from Khan at the end of the fifth. But still a dominant round by the brilliant, teak tough Omaha man. 

Crawford 10-9

5:27AM

Round Four - Khan takes body shots

Chants of 'Amir, Amir' from Khan's many supporters. They clinch and Crawford lifts Khan up. Still boxing from southpaw the champion. Khan launches attack, but is under big pressure.

Huge counter right hook from the champion misses.

But then Crawford attacks with a series of body shots in the last minute of the round and Khan is hurt and breathing heavily. Perhaps ten body shots.

Crawford 10-9

Terence Crawford and Amir Khan in action Credit: ANDREW COULDRIDGE/Reuters

 

5:22AM

Round Three - Crawford seeks out a gap

Crawford pawing straight right lands. Jab from Khan. Left hook lands on Crawford, as he waves his paw getting cocky.

Now Crawford switches to southpaw for the first time, right he counters and Crawford just misses.

The champion is so much more dangerous from the left handed stance. They tie up. Clinch.

Crawford now hunting for holes in the challenger.

Crawford 10-9 

5:18AM

Round Two - Khan comes back

Good start to the second period by Khan. Left-right lands.

Khan is circling and keeping the distance between them.

Fast hands and another left-right from the Bolton fighter. But how long can he keep Bud Crawford off him ?

Khan 10-9

5:17AM

Round One - Khan hit hard

Amir Khan held his hands up to the corner in prayer at the start.

Crawford starts in the orthodox stance. Looks as big as khan. Looking for the left hook but misses, Khan jab to the body, then three Khan jabs.

Disaster. Left hook by Crawford and Khan down. Badly hurt at end of the round.

Crawford 10-8  

5:08AM

And now Terence Crawford... it's fight time!

Amir Khan looks relaxed and composed. Trainer Virgil Hunter, head shaved, looks cool calm and collected.

Champion Terence Crawford looks like an assassin. Here we go! Amir - we need your best tonight.

5:07AM

Amir Khan makes his entrance - here we go!

 

5:03AM

Fighters entering the ring

 

5:00AM

 Teofimo Lopez: 'I want a world title shot next'

Here's Teofimo Lopez on the victory, and what he wants next:  “I didn’t have the best camp, but I did what I needed to do and came out victorious. I knew I was going to get him with a body shot. I softened him up and finished him.”

“I want a world title shot next. That’s what I want. We promised to take over the show, and once again, I took it over.”

“I’m ready for Richard Commey or the WBC title. As long as it’s for a title, I am ready to go. No one can take my power."

Teofimo Lopez, right, punches Finland's Edis Tatli Credit:  Frank Franklin II/AP

 

4:54AM

Teofimo Lopez KO's Edis Tatli

The quite brilliantly aggressive Teofimo Lopez KO's Edis Tatli with a crippling body shot in round 5.

He is desperate to fight Vasyl Lomachenko, considered No 1, 2, or 3 pound for pound in the world. 

Here's the punch stats, via CompuBox:

Final punch stats Credit: Compubox

 

4:23AM

Shakur Stevenson dominates Christopher Diaz

Gareth A Davies, ringside at MSG:

Shakur Stevenson victory. But boring. He is so much better than that... 

He says in the ring, after being booed: “Listen, I want all the champions at 126 pounds. Josh Warrington is someone I want to fight. I am ready.”

“I take nothing away from Christopher Diaz. He’s a great fighter, but I came in there to outbox him, and that’s exactly what I did.”

 

4:02AM

'What Jarrell Miller has done is ludicrous' 

Gareth A Davies has been chatting with Randy Gordon the former commissioner of the New York State Athletic Commission.

He says its is 'ludicrous' what Jarrell Miller has done 'throwing away a massive opportunity' after taking performance-enhancing drugs ahead of what would have been a heavyweight world title challenge against Anthony Joshua on June 1.

Like so many other Americans, Randy is a real fan of Amir Khan. Crawford wins in his eyes.

 

3:44AM

Tonight's pick for the Terence Crawford - Amir Khan fight 

From Gareth A Davies, Boxing Correspondent, Ringside in New York:

Having covered the entire gamut of Amir Khan's career, from 16 year junior world champion, to 17 year old Olympic silver medalist, following him around the world, I would truly love to see - we all would - one last great dance from him, a brilliance from his flashing fists.

But here's how I see this fight going: Khan will have to have his heightened faculties at their best against Crawford. Speed, movement, explosiveness and above all, discipline.

For me, the only way that Khan gets the win, is by getting ahead, then staying moving, and fighting in bursts. Does he have one brilliant performance left in him? We might hope so.

I have visited Khan four times in this camp, and he is relaxed and in phenomenal shape. But this could be his last stand.

Crawford has great skills and spitefulness. Khan is never in a boring fight, but his fragility against lesser opponents of late concerns me, and as a result, I pick Crawford to catch up with Khan and stop him around the eighth round.

But if Khan does do what he says he will, and sticks to his plan, it could be a thriller. But instinct suggests a Crawford TKO or KO around the eighth round.

Victory, though, if Khan can pull it off, would represent one of the greatest triumphs ever by a British boxer in the United States.

3:26AM

Looking back on Khan's US debut

Nine years ago, here in New York,  Amir Khan thrilled everyone on his USA debut.

There was no mistaking the buzz from the US boxing fraternity, and its movers and shakers in the bars and restaurants around Madison Square Garden in the afterglow of Amir Khan’s destruction of Paulie Malignaggi.

Amir Khan & Paulie Malignaggi square up in 2010 Credit: Scott Heavey/Action

Read the full report here

3:13AM

Khan: “It’s a massive fight for me. We’ve worked on speed, power, explosiveness." 

Gareth caught up with Amir Khan at training camp. Here's what he had to say:

"There will be times I’ll have to put that power on him. I’m going to be very focused throughout the fight, no matter what.

"I can’t forget the game plan or make any mistakes because I’m up against a very dangerous fighter.

“When you’re fighting someone like Crawford, you know you can’t make any mistakes.

"I’ve got to be on my A game for this fight. It has to be a pitch-perfect performance.”

Read the full interview here

2:54AM

Muhammad Ali's biographer picks Crawford to win 

Gareth chats to Thomas Hauser, Muhammad Ali's biographer and the writer of the movie Missing, which was nominated for four academy awards.

 

2:49AM

Our man in New York takes his ringside seat

From Gareth A Davies: Good evening, fight fans and fight freaks.

In my seat now at ringside in Madison Square Garden.

Just finished a 3-hour radio show build up to Crawford vs Khan - with a host of guests

 

2:47AM

Khan: I'm happy to be fighting the world's best again

Amir Khan believes he is taking on one of the best fighters in the world in Terence Crawford tonight.

Khan and WBO welterweight champion Crawford go head-to-head at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

The 32-year-old Briton told a press conference: "This definitely ranks at the top for me because I'm fighting a world champion like Terence.

"It's just amazing for me to be in this position again. To know I'm fighting the best out there again.

"I know that I can't make any mistakes out there because then I'll be in trouble."

Khan has won his last two fights since the defeat to Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas in 2016, where he was knocked out in the sixth round.

"We know we've done everything we have to do for this fight and I'm more than ready," Khan said.

"This is a dream come true and hopefully on Saturday a dream will come true. This just drives me, makes me work harder, train harder and stay focused.

"He's a good fighter and I know he's training hard because he doesn't want to lose his unbeaten record."

Crawford has won all of his 34 fights, claiming 25 knockouts.

The American said: "I don't believe no fight that I fight is just another fight. I believe all the fights I fight from here on out is about my legacy.

"Amir Khan's name came up because he was the next best welterweight in the division. Amir Khan is a great fighter and I can't take that away from him.

"I just want people to respect me for my talent and the skills that I have and the willingness to go in there and fight anybody and everybody that is available."