Nine months after winning their first fight by split decision, unbeaten Joe George made sure Saturday's rematch with Marcos Escudero would have no controversy. George (11-0, 7 KOs) trailed by wide scores on two of three scorecards in Round 9 when he finished Escudero with a vicious left uppercut to finish their light heavyweight bout via one-punch knockout.
The 10-round bout kicked off Showtime Championship Boxing's first card since March in a Premier Boxing Champions card from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
"I was setting him up with the jab to the body and had him leaning over a little," George said. "I wanted him to get relaxed and that's exactly what he did. He was relaxed, I slipped over and shot it. Really, he gave it to me and I had to take it and put him down."
One day after his 31st birthday, George showcased scary power when he needed it most against Escudero (10-2, 9 KOs), the Argentine slugger who had landed the harder shots throughout to control their rematch.
Escudero, 27, initially ducked a right hand from George but was caught clean on the chin with a massive left hand he never saw coming as he stood up tall. Referee Dan Schavoine began the count before eventually waving the fight off as Escudero covered his face and laid prone.
George trailed 97-93 on two scorecards at the time of the stoppage and led by the same score on the other card. The two fighters squared off for their first meeting last November in Sloan, Iowa, when George took home scores of 97-93 and 97-94, with the third judge scoring it 96-94 for Escudero.
"I don't have to say nothing [to those who thought he lost the first fight,]" George said. "I am prepared for whoever is in my way."