The Bolton hero had been goaded in the build-up to his long-awaited return — but shut his opponent up with a first-round demolition.
A sweet left hook and a giant uppercut floored Canadian Lo Greco. And a savage attack on the ropes got the fight stopped.
Trainer Joe Goossen stepped in to guide Khan after usual coach Virgil Hunter was struck down with illness.
Khan, 31, revealed: “Joe said, ‘Don’t go looking for a knockout’ — but I saw the shot and it came off.
“I thank God for a great victory. And I want to thank Liverpool.
“People wanted to see me come back — and I was training for 12 rounds.
“I had to make some changes for my camp after Virgil got sick.
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“I was nervous coming back to a full Liverpool crowd after two years but, guess what, I am back with a bang!
“I want to fight the best and be a world champion again, this or next year.”
Despite being away from the ring for two years, Khan sold out the 9,000-seater Echo Arena with the help of a largely local undercard.
Lo Greco, 33, was signed up to this catchweight fight to help sell tickets and make Khan look good after such a long break.
But he insulted former light-welterweight king Khan over his private life and, at the first press conference, got a glass of water in the face for his troubles.
Lo Greco said he has to “be the villain and play the a**hole to get these fights” and he played his role perfectly up until the first bell, claiming Khan was washed up.
A stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle kept Khan in easy money while he was away and helped attract him a new fanbase who are keen to see if he can still mix it at the top.
A domestic grudge match with Kell Brook is on the cards now for Khan, with the Sheffield star watching keenly at ringside. And that could be easily made for this summer — as both are promoted now by Eddie Hearn.
On this brief showing, Khan has lost none of his hand speed or power.
He wanted to send Brook a big warning — and he did so in stunning fashion.
Khan insists he wants a world title at 147lb but would have to fight American superstars like Errol Spence Jr and Keith Thurman for that honour.
Khan said: “I want to show you what I am all about. Over Kell, me and Eddie will sit down — the weight is an issue.
“I’m a 147lb fighter. I will fight Kell Brook and I will beat him. I’m a better and stronger fighter.
“Kell — you have been living off my name. I’m chasing you.”
But Brook hit back: “He can go in the jungle and chase stars — but I’ll make him see stars.
“I’m the Special One and I will deal with him. I will land that bomb.
“I can do 147, even if I have to cut my legs off to get in there. But I don’t think he wants the fight.
“I’m just dying to put him to sleep.”
Hearn said: “These boys want to bash each other up — they really don’t like each other.
“Let’s not regret not doing it.”
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