Former world champion Amir Khan is planning to fight again, after his most recent contest ended in defeat when he was stopped in the sixth round after a low blow by Terence Crawford at Madison Square Garden in New York.
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.
A domestic fight with long-term rival Kell Brook will appeal until either retires, but for the 32-year-old Khan — groomed for greatness since winning an Olympic silver medal in 2004 aged 17 — his successful time as an attraction in the US may have passed.
He suffered a knockdown in the opening round and was thereafter taking regular punishment, struggling to stay in the contest and nursing what appeared to be an injury to his right hand.
The fight was instead strangely stopped after 47 seconds of the sixth when his corner indicated he could no longer continue, despite him being entitled to far longer before fighting on.
A fifth defeat — and the fourth inside the distance — demonstrated there is little question that Khan is a fighter in decline. Regardless of whether he fights on, it may be the nature of this stoppage and no longer that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao eluded him when he was at his peak, that proves his biggest regret.
“I can’t go out like that. I have a lot left in me, there will always be opportunities for me out there. This will not be my last fight. Apart from the knockdown in the first round, it wasn’t a brutal fight. I am going to spend time with the family and take time off. I’ll see what comes up after this,” Khan said to The Telegraph.
“I would never quit, I would rather get knocked out. I have never been hit below the belt and was in pain. I want to apologise to all of the fans. If I had known I probably would have taken the full five. It was sore. I couldn’t think straight after it.
“I could feel it getting worse and my trainer Virgil stepped up and said, ‘Let’s pull it’. I have never quit from anything. I would rather be knocked out. I will assess my future with my family. But I now know why he is considered the best fighter in the world.”