The dream fight with Floyd Mayweather has been lost in the nightmare of concussive defeat but Amir Khan will be given the chance to resurrect his career because even when he gets knocked down the crowds are up on their feet.
The dilemma is that if his climb off the floor of the Mandalay Bay arena is to carry him all the way to another world title, he will have to temper with caution the high-octane style which is deterring the TV networks from giving up on him just yet.
So brilliant and brutal was Khan's brief war with Danny Garcia that the more excitable of the American commentators are making comparisons with Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and the most explosive three rounds ever fought.
That is something of a heat-of-the-moment exaggeration but there can be no denying that the fourth round here, which was halted after two minutes and 28 seconds with Khan out on his feet, ranks as one of the most thrilling heart-stoppers of boxing's modern era.
But at the end, the Briton paid a terrible price for heroics driven by seething resentment of the racist slurs hurled at him by his opponent's father. He forgot a cardinal principle as old as bareknuckle prize-fighting: don't fight mad, get even.
He was beaten as much by Angel (of no mercy) Garcia as by his boy Danny. The father annoyed Khan so much with inflammatory remarks about his Pakistani origins that he set up the son for the upset.
Khan fought angry instead of clever, abandoning his game plan by going for the quick finish and thereby rushing on to Garcia's knockout strength as a counter-puncher. Freddie Roach, his Hall of Fame trainer, confirmed: 'Angel got under Amir's skin and he went off our game plan. He could have out-boxed Danny all night but instead he ran on to the one big punch which changed the course of the fight.'
The consequences of thatw rush of blood are serious. He lost his world light-welterweight championship no sooner had it been handed back to him by the WBA because of the steroids drugs test failed by Lamont Peterson, the cheat who had stolen it from him.
He forfeited to Garcia the honour of unifying that belt with the WBC and The Ring magazine world titles.
He blew the prospect of a multi-million-dollar super-fight with Mayweather, the pound-for-pound king, perhaps as early as this December.
He put into cold storage all thoughts of moving up to the more enriching welterweight division.
But perhaps most depressingly of all, Khan knows that his return journey to the world championship summit will now be less glamorous, more tortuous.
It will surely take him away from the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip, back to the drawing board, back to England, back to re-establishing himself in domestic fights against the irritating likes of Kell Brook.
At least he will be accompanied on that trek by his television paymasters.
Richard Schaefer, chief executive of his American promoters Golden Boy, came out of instant talks with HBO executives to say: 'Of course all the networks will still be keen on Amir's fights because they are always so exciting. He is super-fast, technically brilliant and a real warrior. That doesn't change just because he got caught by one big punch one night.'
What has altered are the dynamics of Khan's career. There is no rematch clause in the contract for a title unifying fight and Garcia Snr rubbed salt into the wound, making it clear his son would not be repaying Khan in kind for the opportunity he received by saying: 'No re-match. Why would there be?
We've beaten him, knocked him out. He's old shoes now. He's done. He's over. He's the ex-champ.'
Those harsh words, and Khan, may yet come back to haunt the Garcias. But not for a while.
Khan was released promptly from hospital after a routine check-up and said: 'I'm all right. I'll be back.' But there will be no hurried return to action. This lesson has to be fully digested.
Fortunately, at 25, he is still young enough to absorb the message that champions do not allow emotion to interfere with their boxing. This was a reminder punishingly imparted.
Khan started even faster than usual and won the first two rounds in dazzling fashion. He kept snapping out the jab and landing clusters of combinations to the head of Garcia, who was warned for throwing one very low blow in desperation after his right eye was cut by a sharp left hook.
But instead of continuing to break Garcia down he went for a knockout of his own, too soon. The American halted his charge with a classic counter-punch. That left landed on Khan's neck, possibly numbing a nerve.
Whatever the damage, Khan fell and never fully recovered, even though he beat the count and clung on to the end of the round. A glancing right at the start of the fourth sent him down again, this time stumbling over the bottom rope as he went. Again he got up. Again referee Kenny Bayless let him continue.
Then came courage beyond the call of duty as Khan, despite his senses being half scrambled and his legs buckling, traded huge blows with Garcia until another of those thunderous left hooks sent him crashing once more.
Khan dragged himself upright one last time but when Mr Bayless looked into the boy from Bolton's vacant eyes he knew that it was all over.
No complaints. Roach said: 'One punch changed it all but that's boxing. It was a good stoppage. It was touch and go whether I allowed him to go out for the fourth and then the ref did the right thing.'
Khan lives to fight another day. That he has the fighting heart, as well as the talent, to do so successfully is beyond question.
And the television companies are counting on it.