NEW YORK — Terence Crawford was fully dominating Amir Khan in every aspect of boxing through five rounds, having knocked him down in the first round and peppering him with jabs, combinations and his flat out superior skills at will.
Continuing his attack, Crawford hit Khan with an accidental low blow during the sixth round and whether Khan took the moment as an opportunity for a way out or not, he claimed he couldn't continue the fight and thus the bout was called a TKO in favor of Crawford, allowing "Bud" to retain his WBO welterweight championship.
Not the fashion that Crawford wanted to get his latest victory in, but a win, nonetheless.
Even if the low blow never happened, you got the distinct feeling that Khan (33-5) didn't stand a chance anyway.
Crawford started the fight dropping Khan with a vicious overhand right, which spun Khan around before he fell to the canvas.
From there, "Bud" asserted his complete control and punished Khan's body and stung him with hard shots that landed flush to the British fighter's face.
If the fight didn't end on a low blow, there's a solid chance that Crawford would have made sure to finish it via his scintillating skills as boxing's arguable pound-for-pound best.
"I could tell I was breaking him down. It was just a matter of time," Crawford (35-0, 25 KOs) said during his post-fight interview. "I just took my time. I was disappointed the corner stopped the fight in that manner, but Virgil [Hunter] is a great coach, and he was looking out for his fighter. I know he didn't want to go out like that."
After the disappointing win, Crawford also didn't waste time calling out IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. for a unification fight.
“The fight I want next is Errol Spence,” Crawford said. “Whenever he is ready, he can come and get it.”
Here's how the Crawford vs. Khan main card went.
( All times Eastern. )
Main card live updates, results
Main event: Terence Crawford def. Amir Khan by TKO to retain WBO welterweight title after Khan can't continue due to accidental low blow
Round 6: Crawford hits Khan with an accidental low blow, as the ref is giving him some time to recover here early in the sixth. But Khan claiming he can't continue and just like that, the fight has been stopped. You never want to see a fight end like this. Any way, but this.
Round 5: A punishing left hook to the body begins Crawford's attack and a left-right combo lands flush to Khan's face moments later. Electric stuff from "Bud." Left-handed uppercut lands for good measure. Khan trying to fight back, but it's Crawford showcasing all of his skills, polish, power and boxing superiority five rounds in. (50-44 Crawford)
Round 4: A left hook lands for Crawford, who's in complete control here. Vicious bodywork from Crawford that follows, working Khan's body with unanswered punches — about six of them in a flurry. A punishing right to the body hurts Khan even further. Khan's body is battered. (40-35 Crawford)
Round 3: Khan lands a left-right combination to get Crawford's attention early in the third. A stiff right lands moments later. Just as I was close to giving Khan the edge this round, Crawford begins to dig into the body and ends the third with a left upstairs. Khan might have landed more shots this round, but Crawford still stuck the crisper punches. (30-26 Crawford)
Round 2: Another overhand right followed by a left to the body was the highlight of the punishment Crawford dished out in the second round. Entering this bout, Khan had carved out the reputation of being a quick starter. Well, not this fight. (20-17 Crawford)
Round 1: Crawford drops Khan! And he's going for the kill, trying to end this early. He was almost successful, too. Good grief! "Bud" dropped Khan on a vicious overhand right, which spun Khan around, before he fell to the canvas. Wow. Major fireworks from Crawford already and we're only one round in. (10-8 Crawford)
12:01 a.m.: Crawford out to DMX's "What's My Name?" cut to Jadakiss "The Champ is Here" and cut to Jay Z's "Encore." The building is rocking, eating up every bit of this entrance from the arguable pound-for-pound best.
12:00 a.m.: Here comes Amir Khan out to Eminem's "Not Afraid" and a loud ovation from the crowd here at MSG.
11:50 p.m.: Crawford-Khan in the main event is up next.
11:47 p.m.: Teofimo Lopez is one bad man. Perhaps Rosie Perez says it best:
Co-main event: Teofimo Lopez demolishes Edis Tatli by fifth-round KO
Round 5: A straight punch to the gut and Tatli goes down ... and stays down. It's a wrap. Yet another KO for Lopez. Not as spectacular as the last couple of knockouts, but stinging nonetheless. Plus, you know when you're comparing a fighter's own knockouts, it's someone special in the ring. "The Takeover" continues. And Lopez hits the LeBron James' celebration, before sticking his traditional backflip. Lopez did say that he would end this fight before the sixth round and made good on that prediction.
After the fight, Lopez (13-0, 11 KOs) made it clear that it's all main events from here on out.
"I want a world title shot next," he said in the ring. "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."
Round 4: Lopez is tenderizing meat out here, repeatedly working the body and aiming upstairs with that right hook. (40-35 Lopez)
Round 3: "The Takeover" looking all too strong here early on, as Lopez lands a three-punch combination near the end of the third. All Lopez thus far. (30-27 Lopez)
Round 2: Lopez continuing to pepper Tatli with colorful jabs and combinations. Meanwhile, Tatli is hardly throwing any punches. This looks like it's not going to end well for the fighter from Helsinki, Finland. (20-18 Lopez)
Round 1: Lopez and Tatli trying to get a feel for each other, with the former landing stinging jabs to start things up. At about the minute mark of the first, Lopez takes an angle and lands a hook-uppercut combination to put Tatli on notice. (10-9 Lopez)
11:12 p.m.: Teofimo Lopez entering the ring to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" is going over really well. Another dynamic KO from Lopez, followed by another viral celebration would go over even better. The co-main event is up next.
11:05 p.m.: Terence Crawford looking more than ready to defend his WBO welterweight title against Amir Khan.
11:03 p.m.: You get the feeling that this Garden crowd is ready to unhinge. Let's see if Brooklyn's own Teofimo Lopez can give them a reason to do just that.
10:58 p.m.: Shakur Stevenson def. Christopher Diaz via unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 98-92). The 21-year-old Newark product made that look too easy.
"I'm the smartest boxer in boxing," Stevenson said, earning him boos from the Garden crowd. "I feel like I'm the next Floyd."
Well, Mayweather himself dubbed Stevenson as "the next Floyd Mayweather" at one point. With the way the kid hits and doesn't get hit much, you kind of see why.
10:52 p.m.: The 10th and final round of Stevenson-Diaz is coming up. Meanwhile, "The Takeover" looks to continue, as Teofimo Lopez faces Edis Tatli next. And you already know that Lopez is going to try to steal the show.
10:44 p.m.: Replays caught Diaz resorting to stepping on Stevenson's lead foot before Shakur returned the favor. That's about the only way that Diaz is going to slow Stevenson down at this point, as he's just not landing enough shots.
10:33 p.m.: Stevenson's hand speed is blinding, as he puts combinations together lighting fast. About 40 seconds into the fifth round, Diaz manages to get in close and unleash a couple of hooks. He has to continue doing that and try to muddy up this fight or else it feels like Stevenson is going to use the real estate given to him, pump that jab and keep stinging Diaz to yet another victory.
10:24 p.m.: Diaz hits the canvas early in the third round and it's ruled a slip, but that doesn't stop a Stevenson supporter in the crowd from yelling "Get used to it!" Stevenson is about as polished of a 21-year-old boxer that you'll see. SN has him pitching a shutout thus far.
10:18 p.m.: Stevenson looking razor sharp in the opening round, going straight down the middle with his jab and even piecing together combinations.
10:12 p.m.: Newark, N.J.'s own Shakur Stevenson getting a nice pop from the Garden crowd. Let's see if he could pass his toughest test to date and inch closer to a world title shot.
10:08 p.m.: Tracy Morgan and Rosie Perez just a couple of the celebs in the house here tonight. Perez tells the Garden crowd that she can't wait to see "The Takeover" of Teofimo Lopez continue later on this evening.
10:05 p.m.: The next bout between undefeated Shakur Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs) and Christopher Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs) in featherweight action should be a good one.
10:01 p.m.: Felix Verdejo gets the unanimous decision victory (97-93, 97-93 98-92) over Bryan Vasquez to improve to 25-1.
9:45 p.m.: Neither Vasquez or Verdejo has given the crowd here at MSG anything to really get up out of their seats about, but Verdejo is in control entering the eighth round.
9:15 p.m.: Both Bryan Vasquez and Felix Verdejo are in the ring, the bright lights are on and this main card is about to begin.
9:10 p.m.: A relaxed Amir Khan made his way into the Garden a short while ago.
9:05 p.m.: The first pay-per-view under the Top Rank on ESPN banner is live and underway.
8:35 p.m.: The main card of the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view is slated to go live at 9:00 p.m. There's a nice buzz in MSG as the anticipation builds toward the bright lights. Bryan Vasquez and Felix Verdejo will kick off the main card in lightweight action.
Undercard live updates, results
8:24 p.m.: Adames with a scintillating left hook that puts Galarza on his backside right by the ropes, before closing out the show with a barrage of unanswered punches to get the fourth-round TKO. Impressive showing from the Dominican boxer who resides in the Washington Heights section of NYC.
“This was a message to all of the 154-pounders. I want to face all the best," Adames said following his victory. "I’m coming hungry, and I’m determined to fight for a world title by the end of the year. I don’t care who has a title. I want it.”
8:15 p.m.: Carlos Adames in there with Frank Galarza in junior middleweight action right now, with the first round in the books.
8:05 p.m.: The crowd here at Madison Square Garden came alive with Edgar Berlanga 46-second TKO of Samir Barbosa. Undercard action is still going on here, with the main card set to begin at 9:00 p.m.
Crawford vs. Khan main card results
- Main event: Terence Crawford def. Amir Khan by sixth-round TKO to retain WBO welterweight title after Khan couldn't continue from an accidental low blow
- Co-main event: Teofimo Lopez def. Edis Tatli by fifth-round KO; Lightweights
- Shakur Stevenson def. Christopher Diaz via unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 98-92); Featherweights
- Felix Verdejo def. Bryan Vasquez by unanimous decision (97-93, 97-93 98-92); Lightweights
- Carlos Adames def. Frank Galarza via fourth-round TKO; Junior middleweights
- Edgar Berlanga def. Samir Barbosa by first-round TKO; Middleweights
- Larry Fryers def. Dakota Polley via unanimous decision; Super lightweights
- Vikas Krishan def. Noah Kidd by unanimous decision; Super welterweights
- Lawrence Newton def. Jonathan Garza via unanimous decision; Bantamweights
Crawford vs. Khan latest news
- Everything to lose and nothing to gain is the position Terence Crawford finds himself in facing Amir Khan .
- Crawford prepares to deliver a convincing victory over Khan, while the urgency to cement a title-unification fight with Errol Spence looms .
- Here's how Crawford's last five fights , including his blistering TKO of Jose Benavidez Jr. in October.
- Here's what Khan's last five fights have looked like, including his unimpressive decision win over Samuel Vargas in September.
- As the reigning WBO welterweight champion and arguable pound-for-pound best, Crawford deems Amir Khan as his best-available option . Meanwhile as a huge underdog, Khan is eyeing this fight as a legacy fight to define his career.
- Teofimo Lopez has been working his angles inside and outside the ring under the branding of "The Takeover," with the aim to eventually get a shot against lightweight unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko .
- Shakur Stevenson is eyeing his fight against Christopher Diaz on Saturday night as a springboard to landing him a world title shot in the featherweight division .