But Khan jumped all over him from the opening bell, sending Salita to the canvas with a ramrod left followed by an irresistible overhand right.
Salita was still jelly-legged when Khan renewed his attack, and the American was hurt by a spiteful left and sent back-pedalling into a neutral corner.
Salita was forced to take a knee, and while he was brave enough to get back to his feet, Puerto Rican referee Luis Pavon called a halt to proceedings after he was knocked down for a third time.
Khan may now choose to fight in the United States, where he has had his training base since his defeat to Colombia's Breidis Prescott last September.
That defeat, which seemed career-threatening at the time, saw him team up with legendary American trainer Freddie Roach, and Khan has looked a different fighter ever since.
"Freddie is like a father figure to me and just having him in the corner gives me so much confidence," added Khan.
"It was a blessing in disguise what happened to me against Prescott - I've come back stronger and now I'm a world champion and a world champion defender."
Khan defeated Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera in March, before stepping up a weight and claiming the WBA light-welterweight crown with victory over Andriy Kotelnik in July.
Khan will now help Manny Pacquiao prepare for Floyd Mayweather at Roach's fabled Wild Card gym in Los Angeles, after which he will weigh up his options.
There has been talk of a match with Manchester's former light-welterweight king Ricky Hatton, while Dagenham's Kevin Mitchell, who looked classy in defeating Prescott on the Newcastle bill, has made no secret of his desire to fight Khan somewhere down the line.
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