The southpaw produced a career-best performance to prove the doubters wrong and fulfil his life-long goal of becoming a recognised world title holder.
Russell was well on top through the first two rounds as he used his superior speed to out-manoeuvre the wiley champion until a sweet right hand began the demise of Gonzalez in the third.
The fact that the shot landed right at the end of the third session only served to prolong the inevitable for Gonzalez, who was dropped twice on the next round until referee Tony Weeks stopped the contest.
A recent loss to Vasyl Lomachenko in a bid to snag the WBO belt is now firmly behind Russell, although the new owner of the coveted green belt may look to exact immediate revenge in a unification.
The 26 year-old can boast a 26-1 C.V after recording his 15th career stoppage, whilst Gonzalez dropped a ninth reverse – a fourth via knockout, and looks set to miss out on a super featherweight title challenge against Takashi Miura.
Gonzalez looked every one of his 33 years in the bout and could seek to cash out by giving Abner Mares a much sought-after rematch before he potentially hangs up his gloves in the near future.