By Alexey Sukachev
Wembley Stadium, London - James DeGale (19-1, 13 KOs) had stoppage victories before but none of them can be compared with the fourth round TKO that he produced in his
most important contest to date (maybe excluding a clash with the Saint George Groves) - which took place in his IBF super middleweight final eliminator against previously undefeated American Brendan Gonzales (18-1-1, 10 KOs).
Gonzales was rated #3 by the IBF coming in, while DeGale was seated at #4 place by the same sanctioning body and #2 by the WBO. Gonzales was aggressive against DeGale early on but it didn't help him much. Gonzales was too slow, and he just couldn't cope with DeGale's tremendous speed and reflexes. When he cornered 2008 Beijing gold medalist, DeGale responded with powerful combinations, using both hooks and left uppercuts, putting the American into trouble time and again.
Still, no one was expecting an early ending, when DeGale rocked Gonzales
badly with a left hook - right hand combination during the middle of the fourth. The Englishman followed it up with a crazy left hook that sent the American down. He got up, and DeGale went in for kill. Gonzales was wobbling but still fighting back, when referee Steve Gray issued a premature stoppage call. However, Gonzales was in big trouble anyway, and it appeared like a stoppage loss was only a matter of time.