James DeGale showed he had the power to go with his panache and stop unbeaten Brandon Gonzales with 22 seconds left of the fourth round at Wembley tonight.
A crashing left after 10 seconds of the start showed Chunky intent with a capital ‘I’.
But the second thumping shot in the fourth flattened the man from Sacramento, and although he staggered to his feet, Gonzales took another battering straight after to suggest the end was nigh.
There was a thought that ref Steve Gray dived in a bit too quick to call it in the west Londoner’s favour, especially as the last Chunky haymaker missed by a mile. But there was no doubting Gonzales’s pain. He was smiling at the decision once he was led back to his corner, but another barrage would have left him out cold.
After the sensational start, the second round was a bit more subdued, but a nasty red marking over Gonzales’s left eye gave DeGale something of a double top to aim for.
The Californian aimed far too low at the end of the third round, and got a referee finger wag for the whack downstairs.
The only finger being wagged in the decisive fourth was the judge counting the American before he staggered to his feet.
The Harlesden boy and former Dale Youth champion has taken his fair share of jibes on the chin for facing nobodies in the past, but Gonzales came with a nailed-on pedigree.
To stop someone of his calibre a third through the scheduled 12 rounds will only beef up the purse when DeGale finally gets a shot at the IBF title - the promise made to the Wembley winner.