In front of the biggest crowd of his career on the biggest stage he's yet seen, James DeGale put together the potential that has been there for years, ripping through Brandon Gonzales en route to a fourth round stoppage win at Wembley Stadium, and potentially setting himself up for a fight later this year with the winner of the coming main event between Carl Froch and George Groves.
DeGale (19-1, 13 KO) had none of the shakiness or tentativeness that has plagued some of his performances in the past, as he came out for a big opportunity and put his foot on the gas immediately, whacking Gonzales (18-1-1, 10 KO) around right away and bringing the fight to the American, which likely was not what Gonzales or trainer Virgil Hunter saw coming.
An aggressive DeGale looked impossible to deny before he dropped Gonzales in round four, at which point Gonzales' legs began to go, and DeGale continued to bring heavy pressure. That brought in referee Steve Gray for the stoppage with Gonzales on his feet, which was either premature, or the standard of what should be. That's a larger discussion for another time, though, and the stoppage was not inconsistent with normal UK referee standards, which is also a story for another time.
(Or you can talk about it here, I don't mind.)
With the win, DeGale is now the mandatory contender for the IBF super middleweight title, meaning that the winner of Froch-Groves II coming shortly will have to face him at some point, or vacate the IBF belt. DeGale and Groves have history dating back to when they were children in the amateurs, and DeGale's only pro loss came to Groves in 2011.