AMIR KHAN revealed the farcical ending to his shot at the WBO welterweight title will force him to fight on.
The Brit, 32, was struck by a low blow he claimed was too painful to recover from and left him “peeing blood” yesterday morning.
3 Amir Khan says he does not want to exit boxing with the low blow that ended his crack at legend Terence Crawford's world title
But rival fighters and fuming fans have accused Khan of quitting against Terence Crawford and bottling his chance to become a pound-for-pound great.
Khan insists trainer Virgil Hunter pulled him out of the fight because he admitted he was in crippling pain.
But the experienced cornerman, who seemed to lack faith in his pupil in the build-up, stated it was Khan who called for an early exit.
Either way, the chorus of boos that ended the night is unlikely to be the final track on Khan’s retirement record.
He said: “I don’t want to end my career like that — I’d rather get knocked out.
“I couldn’t think straight when I was hit with a shot like that. I’ve been hit with a low blow before but this one f***** me up.”
Three-weight king Crawford, 31, was spiteful in New York’s Madison Square Garden ring.
And Khan, who claimed he did not know he was entitled to a five-minute recovery period, wondered if the repeated illegal shots were a tactic.
He said: “There were other low blows in the fight. I don’t know if it was a strategy.
“I remember telling the referee before the fight, in the changing rooms, that he is going to throw low blows. I’ve seen that in fights.
“It’s made me realise that normally I am the main man, the main attraction; this time I wasn’t and sometimes things then work against you.”
The 2004 Olympic silver medallist remains optimistic that he still has big US fights available to him — despite a scathing reaction from the 10,000-strong crowd.
He is eyeing a rematch with Danny Garcia, a shot at Keith Thurman and a meeting with veteran Manny Pacquiao.
But a domestic straightener with Kell Brook seems the only last hurrah on the table.
Khan said: “I will always have world title fights. I will always have opportunities to fight for world titles.
“I’ll always get opportunities in America because I train here. There are many fights out there for me.”
Although Hunter may differ, Khan insists their close relationship might have forced his coach to pull him out too quickly.
He said: “Virgil sees me like a son and he maybe saw the pain I was in. He’s a father figure and probably thought that was enough.”
Hunter, the mastermind behind undefeated Olympic and world champion Andre Ward, watched his man climb off the canvas in the first round and win two rounds from the judges.
And the coach feels there is more to come from his man.
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Hunter, 65, said: “He will have to reassess his situation and career but he did not take the type of beating that should make him retire.
“He fought a hell of a champion and I was glad to be in the corner for him.
“I will not desert any fighter but I will be honest with them when I think their time is up.”
Reuters3 Khan was battered and bruised after his encounter with Crawford
3 Amir Khan reeled in pain in a fight ending that infuriated the 10,000 crowd