Amir Khan’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, has claimed his fighter showed he can still compete at world level despite suffering a stoppage defeat against Terence Crawford.
The Bolton fighter was knocked down in the first round but battled onto the sixth before he got caught with a low blow.
Khan was clearly in pain and, after he and Hunter talked, the fight was waved off by the referee. Official David Fields asked Hunter if he wanted his man to continue and the American trainer decided enough was enough at Madison Square Garden.
Crawford was declared the winner by TKO but Hunter believes his fighter still has plenty to offer the sport at the highest level.
“The crowd will always be bloodthirsty and want to see a dramatic ending but you have to look out for the safety of the fighter. He’s not the kind of fighter to make things up. I believe he was incapacitated,” said Hunter.
“We knew we were behind but Amir was starting to work things out and pick up his rhythm.
“Amir didn’t take the type of beating that says he should retire. He showed he could move – his legs aren’t gone – but he fought a hell of a champion tonight. I will be honest with him when I think it’s time to retire.”
Khan is now set to take a break before considering his options, with a fight against Kell Brook still on the cards.
The Olympic silver medallist has called for a rematch but Crawford is now set to move on and face former Khan foe Danny Garcia.