Terrell Gausha was determined to atone for a regrettable performance in this very venue just six months ago.

The 2012 U.S. Olympian and former title challenger remained true to his word, scoring a 2nd round knockout of Jamontay Clark in their junior middleweight crossroads bout.

Gausha floored Clark, with an ensuing volley forcing the stoppage of 2:44 of round two in their Showtime-televised opener Saturday evening at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“I felt like I had a chance to knock him out,” Gausha told BoxingScene.com after the fight. “I didn’t know how the fight was going to play out. We studied him good and we were able to execute the game plan.

Clark made a point to put his massive height and reach advantages to good use in the opening round. The 6’2” southpaw from Cincinnati—who boasts a near-80” reach—worked his long jab in the opening round, while Gausha looked for the best means to work his way inside. Cleveland’s Gausha made a point to jump out to a quicker start, managing a pair of right hands as Clark made the mistake of staying in the pocket too long.

It would cost him dearly in round two.

Gausha pawed with his lab, getting Clark to reciprocate which effectively kept him well within punching range. The tactic played off late in the frame, as Gausha connected with a counter right hand over Clark’s lowered left hand to send him crashing to the canvas.

Clark beat the count but was on unsteady legs. Referee Arthur Mercante allowed the fight to continue while monitoring the Cincinnati native. Gausha went on the attack, cornering Clark and letting his hands go with Clark pinned to the ropes in forcing the stoppage.

The early exit marks the first career stoppage defeat for Clark, who falls to 15-2-1 (7KOs).  

Gausha rose to the occasion in a must-win situation as he improves to 22-2-1 (11KOs).

“I took my time and kept setting traps,” noted Gausha, whose last win came in a 1st round knockout of Joey Hernandez in Dec. 2018. “He’s a rangy guy, he’s got a good left hand.

“I had to respect that but I knew if I executed my game plan, I would eventually get to him.”

The win comes six months after Gausha dropped a 12-round decision to Erickson Lubin in their WBC junior middleweight title eliminator in this very venue last September. Gausha is open to a rematch in the event that current lineal and WBC/WBA/IBF champ Jermell Charlo next faces WBO titlist Brian Castaño. Otherwise, anyone that Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) has to offer will work.

“Lubin, Erislandy Lara (against whom Gausha dropped a 12-round decision in their Oct. 2017 title fight)… I’m ready for anyone,” insists Gausha. “I’ve never said no to anybody. There are a lot of guys out there. I just want to fight.”

Gausha-Clark served as the opening bout of a televised tripleheader. Headlining the show, David Benavidez (23-0, 20KOs) faces Ronald Eliis (18-1-2, 12KOs) in a scheduled 12-round super middleweight title eliminator.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox