UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- The bigger they are the harder they indeed fall.
Six-foot-2 heavyweight contender Samuel Peter erased 7-foot Julius Long -- who had come into the ring stepping over the top rope -- with two massive right hands in the first round of the ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" main event at the Mohegan Sun casino.
Peter had dropped Long (14-8) to a knee with a right hand earlier in the round. Seconds later, Peter cracked him with two more rights and he went down hard.
Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. didn't bother to count, calling it off at 2:45. Medical staff rushed the ring immediately to check on Long, who stayed down for a couple of minutes but eventually got up under his own power and was alert.
Peter said his plan was to start fast and end things early.
"You have to be aggressive even if someone has a knife if you want to knock them out," Peter said.
It was just the sort of electrifying knockout that Peter (26-1, 22 KOs) had hoped to score in his second fight since losing a decision in a title eliminator to Wladimir Klitschko last fall.
While Klitschko went on to win a title by knocking out Chris Byrd last week, Peter -- who knocked Klitschko down three times in the loss -- was brought back slowly.
He won a decision against Robert Hawkins in December and followed with the Long fight, his first since bringing in trainer Jesse Reid to work along with longtime trainer and father figure Andy "Pops" Anderson.
Peter, 25, a native of Nigeria based in Las Vegas, and his handlers have been calling for a rematch with Klitschko, and the brutal nature of the knockout should help Peter's case.
"I will destroy him," Peter said about getting a second chance against Klitschko. "It wasn't my time the first time we met. I learned a lot in that fight and now is my time."
If Peter can't get the rematch, he wants any top opponent.
"Anybody, anybody, anybody," Peter said. "Any of the world champions."
That the fight ended quickly came as little surprise. Long hadn't fought since dropping a 10-round decision to Terry Smith last September and had lost two of three coming into the fight. Each time Long had remotely stepped up his level of opposition he had lost, including to Audley Harrison, Derrick Jefferson and Leo Nolan.
Also on the card, heavyweight Brian Minto (24-1) pounded out an eight-round unanimous decision against Billy Zumbrun (19-7-1) in an action-packed fight.
Minto, however, got the better of action, especially in the seventh round when he bloodied Zumbrun and nearly knocked him out. The judges had it 79-73, 79-72 and 78-74.