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Sunday Punch: Mike Tyson’s last professional win

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It’s been 17 years since Mike Tyson’s final win as a professional boxer.

I guess in two weeks we are obligated to cover the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr exhibition because it’ll likely generate big traffic and people have been getting hyped up watching a 53-year-old Tyson spar and train. Well if we’re going to do that, this week’s Sunday Punch will feature Tyson’s last win as a pro, which occurred 17 years ago on February 22nd, 2003.

Tyson was coming off the KO loss to Lennox Lewis in one of the biggest pay-per-views of all-time. This essentially ended his time as a relevant heavyweight. Nevertheless he did get booked to fight exciting and rising contender Clifford “The Black Rhino” Etienne in Memphis, Tennessee. Etienne’s lone loss at the time was against Fres Oquendo, who knocked him down a whopping seven times en route to an eighth-round TKO loss.

As for this one? Well usually Tyson doesn’t need that many knockdowns to knock you out. In fact it only took him 49 seconds to deck Etienne with a huge right hand that gave him the stanky leg, plus an instant removal of the mouthpiece. Fight over.

Watch the whole video at the top of the page, with the fight starting at 3:27. It is after the fight that we get the famous “I broke by back [...] spinal!” quote from Tyson in his interview with Jim Gray.

Tyson (50-6-2 NCs, 44 KOs) was stopped by Danny Williams and then quit against Kevin McBride in 2005, marking his retirement as one of the great heavyweights and biggest (and most controversial and troubled) stars of his era. Etienne (29-4-2, 20 KOs) had only two relevant fights after Tyson and both ended in knockout losses to Calvin Brock and Nikolay Valuev. He is now serving what amounts to a life sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping, and attempted murder of a police officer in his home state of Louisiana.