Fighting to also become a two-weight world champion by adding the WBO welterweight title to his impressive list of honours, Khan had long pursued this opportunity which has likely ended his career at the highest level, leaving him with few remaining lucrative options.
Khan took some time in an attempt to recover, but after telling his corner the pain was "too much", his team took the decision to pull the former WBA and IBF light-welterweight world champion out of the contest as the NY crowd roundly booed from the stands. I would rather be knocked out.
The 32-year-old had already suffered a knockdown in the opening round and had continued to take significant punishment up to the sixth when Crawford landed a sickening low blow.
"I would never quit, I'd rather get knocked out", Khan previously insisted in a post-match press conference.
But Crawford saw things differently and interrupted the Brit, saying: "You didn't quit?" I never quit from a fight.
It would be a far more competitive and memorable fight than what the public got against Khan, who was nowhere near in Crawford's class. I want to see the shot before I talk to anyone. "That's Al Haymon. Every boxing fan should refuse to patronize Haymons' fights until he agrees that Spence fights Crawford".
Crawford was unimpressed with Khan's inability to continue, and told his opponent to "tell the truth" after the fight.
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Amir Khan: No I didn't. I am not one to give up.
The blockbuster bout in NY came to an anti-climactic end after a shot below the belt left Khan unable to carry on against the WBO holder on Saturday.
Lightweight Felix Verdejo (24-1, 16 KOs), 25, of Puerto Rico, was 135 pounds for his 10-rounder with Bryan Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs), 31, of Costa Rica, who weighed 135.4 pounds.
"I couldn't continue as the pain was too much."
Crawford was ahead 49-45 on two judges' cards and 50-44 on the other.
The conclusion was both unsatisfactory and out of character within the context of Khan's career, in which of his five defeats four have come inside the distance but previously without questions surrounding his heart. It's just not in me to quit.
However, asked why he took only about a minute before the fight was stopped, Khan said: "If I had known I probably would have taken the full five". He had five minutes.