Jesus Gonzales went pretty far in hyping his fight with Adonis Stevenson this week, including bringing to light Stevenson's criminal past. In the end, it appears he served only to anger Stevenson, who came in throwing heavy leather tonight in Montreal, and absolutely blasted Gonzales in the first round with a monster left hand, knocking Gonzalez stiff and out of the fight.
For those who haven't seen it, the video is on YouTube already.
Stevenson (17-1, 14 KO) was throwing big shots from the get-go, and clearly fighting with a purpose. He caught Gonzales (27-2, 14 KO) a bit off-guard with his heavy artillery approach, perhaps, and ended things in short order, with a KO that is going to be hard to top for Knockout of the Year, even given that it's only mid-February.
The 34-year-old Stevenson is now firmly in line for an eventual shot at the IBF super middleweight title, currently held by Lucian Bute, as this win made him the IBF's No. 2 ranked fighter, behind only mandatory challenger Carl Froch.
It's a stunning knockout and a sealed arrival to the contending ranks of the division for Stevenson, who has certainly made official his full bounce-back from his 2010 TKO loss to Darnell Boone. What most expected to be a pretty good fight tonight, well-matched, turned into a pure icing.
Adonis Stevenson may not have a big window to make an impact in this division, but he can't be overlooked any longer. He put the division on notice tonight.