NEW YORK -- An accidental low blow by Terence Crawford rendered Amir Khan unable to continue in their welterweight title fight Saturday night before 14,091 at Madison Square Garden.
As Khan was writhing in pain from the sixth-round blow, his trainer, Virgil Hunter, said Khan could no longer fight, making Crawford the winner by technical knockout.
"The coach stopped the fight," referee David Fields said.
Crawford (35-0, 26 knockouts) had knocked down Khan (33-5) in the first round on an overhand right to the top of the head. That harmed Khan's interest in trying to rack up some early rounds and eke out a decision. Instead, he was banged up and absorbed more hurtful blows in the next four rounds as Crawford, ranked the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter by the Los Angeles Times, delivered effective punches.
"I could tell I was breaking him down. It was just a matter of time," Crawford said. "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."
In the sixth, Crawford sent a forceful punch that clearly struck below the belt, and Khan bowed down in agony.
"Khan could have recovered. He had five minutes to recover. He was looking for a way out. He was looking for a place to fall," Crawford promoter Bob Arum said after the fight. "I don't think Khan wanted to continue, and the next round or two would've ended the fight anyway."
Said Crawford: "The fight I want next is Errol Spence. Whenever he is ready, he can come and get it."
In the warm-up to the main event, Teofimo Lopez showed he's in quite a hurry to become a world champion.
"I'm moving on to the main stage," Lopez (13-0, 11 knockouts) said after knocking out his fifth foe in five bouts at Madison Square Garden by finishing Finland's Edis Tatli 1 minute 32 seconds into the fifth round.