ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Heavyweight contender Calvin Brocks tap-dancing abilities are well-known to his friends.
But fancy footwork wasnt in his plans for last nights scheduled 10-rounder against journeyman Kenny Craven.
Brock rose to 26-0 with 21 knockouts with a workmanlike effort en route to a fourth-round stoppage before a sellout crowd of more than 12,000 at Boardwalk Hall. Craven, of Gulfport, Miss., slipped to 25-16 with 11 knockouts.
"I tailor my footwork to my opponent, but I didn't need to do any excessive movement tonight," said Brock, 30, of Charlotte, N.C. "A lot of times when you fight somebody you haven't seen before on film, you take a couple of rounds. I had seen anything in him. All I knew was his name and his record. He was a blind opponent for me. I had no idea what his style was like.
"I just took my time and broke him down. I'm satisfied with my performance. My corner was satisfied with what I was doing. I took my time, didn't want to run into anything."
Brock's bout took place on the undercard of a much-anticipated, 140-pound title fight between World Boxing Council champion Arturo Gatti (39-6, 30 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather (33-0, 22 KOs).
In another 140-pound bout, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (20-0, 15 KOs) of Culiacan, Mexico, and the son of the legendary former world champion, stopped Ruban Galvan (21-7-2) in the fourth round when Galvans corner threw in the towel.
After the bout, Chavez's father entered the ring and hugged his 19-year-old son.
Also last night, Vivian Harris (25-2-1) lost his World Boxing Association 140-pound title when Carlos Maussa (18-2) scored a seventh-round knockout.
Brock, meanwhile, was coming off a big win in April against 6-foot-6, 265-pound Jameel McCline. McCline was coming off a narrow loss to International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, whom McCline floored in the second round.
The 6-2, 226-pound Brock faced McCline on an ESPN pay-per-view show while weighing an all-time low of 218 pounds. Although Brock was floored by McCline when he walked into an uppercut midway through the fight, he regrouped and outhustled the larger man, hurting him several times on the way to winning a majority decision.
"Jameel McCline underestimated me and look what happened?" Brock said. "So a lot of times, that can be a good thing. Sometimes, top 10 contenders get knocked out by guys you've never heard of, but I always rise to the occasion to win my boxing match.
"You don't have the same adrenaline flowing or get up the same for fights like this, but I was still motivated because I wanted to look good in front of these HBO people. I only got hit maybe three or four times, and nothing was hard or caught me flush. [HBO ringside commentators] Larry Merchant and Roy Jones were saying good things about me. I could hear them."
Brock entered last nights bout having received an entreaty from Shelly Finkel, the adviser of WBC titlist Vitali Klitschko, to meet the champion on Sept. 24. HBO has that date set aside for an optional defense by Klitschko.
"We got a call from their representative, Shelly Finkel, on Monday or Tuesday of this week asking if we would be interested in taking it," said matchmaker Carl Moretti, vice president of Main Events, Brocks promoter. "I'm hoping to talk to HBO [last night] to try to get a little more in on it. Hopefully, he gets that shot."
The WBC has mandated that Klitschko face the winner of an Aug. 13 bout between No. 1 contender Hasim Rahman, a Baltimore native, and No. 2 contender Monte Barrett at the United Center in Chicago.
The camps of Rahman and Barrett have each notified the WBC that, in victory, they would be ready to fight Klitschko on Sept. 24. But Klitschko believes he is entitled to an optional defense before meeting the Rahman-Barrett winner. It is unclear whether WBC rules permit him to do so.