Clifford Etienne

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Clifford Etienne
Nickname(s)The Black Rhino
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Reach74 in (188 cm)
Born (1970-03-09) March 9, 1970 (age 49)
Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights35
Wins by KO20

Clifford Etienne (born March 9, 1970) is an American former professional boxer who is currently serving a 105-year prison sentence without possibility of parole. Known for his aggressive, high-volume style despite being a heavyweight, he fought the likes of Mike Tyson, Francois Botha, Nikolay Valuev, Calvin Brock, and Lamon Brewster.


Born and raised in Louisiana, Etienne was a self-proclaimed "nerd" growing up. He attended St. Martinville High School where he was a standout linebacker, recruited by top colleges such as LSU, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma.[1] This potential college football career was derailed by a 40-year prison sentence for armed robbery, which was committed at a shopping mall during his senior year. While incarcerated, Etienne, who then weighed 290 pounds, took up boxing and won the state prison boxing championship. While in prison he was a member of the "Gunslingers" prison boxing team in Louisiana and reportedly had a 30–0 prison record. He was released on good behavior after serving 10 years. While incarcerated, Etienne enrolled in classes at Southern University, and received high marks for his degree.

Professional career[edit]

Upon being paroled from prison in 1998 after serving 10 years for attempted armed robbery,[2] he became a professional boxer; he won 29 matches (20 knockouts), lost 4, and drew 2.

Rise to the top[edit]

Etienne was named 2000's "Most Exciting Fighter to Watch" in the heavyweight division by The Ring Magazine, largely the result of his unanimous decision over then-undefeated Lawrence Clay Bey. The fight was widely considered to be one of the best heavyweight matches of that year. He also defeated Lamon Brewster, the future WBO heavyweight champion, via a fairly-dominant unanimous decision after ten rounds in May of 2000.

Etienne landed a contract with Showtime and his stock began to rise, but it quickly fell after an upset loss to Fres Oquendo, who stopped Etienne in the eighth round of their fight in March 2001.

After re-building some of his lost stature with wins, he was catapulted to the world's stage in a 2003 fight against Mike Tyson, where Etienne suffered a first-round knock-out only 49 seconds after being caught with a short right hand from Tyson.


After the loss to Tyson, Etienne's future seemed to be that of a journeyman opponent. Calvin Brock stopped Etienne in the third round in January 2005.

Etienne's last fight was against Nicolay Valuev. "The Beast from the East", who would go on to become the WBA champion, stopped Etienne in the third round of their fight in Bayreuth, Germany in May 2005.

Criminal activity and imprisonment[edit]

On August 11, 2005, reported Etienne's ring career likely over with the following story:

Well known heavyweight Clifford Etienne was arrested Wednesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping and the attempted murder of a police officer. Etienne allegedly robbed a local business, car-jacked a vehicle containing a woman and her children, then pulled a gun on police officers. He is being held in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison with a $70,000 bond.

On June 22, 2006, following his trial in Baton Rouge, Etienne was found guilty and sentenced to 160 years in prison without parole for an allegedly cocaine-fueled crime spree that included robbing a check cashing business, carjacking and attempting to shoot a police officer.[3] In April 2013 his sentence was reduced from 160 years to 105 years due to a technicality.[4] Etienne is now a painter, painting artwork from prison.[5]

Professional boxing record[edit]

29 Wins (20 knockouts, 9 decisions), 4 Losses (4 knockouts, 0 decisions), 2 Draws [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 29-4-2 Russia Nikolay Valuev KO 3 (12) 14/05/2005 Germany Oberfrankenhalle, Bayreuth, Germany For WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title. Etienne down twice in round 3rd.
Loss 29-3-2 United States Calvin Brock TKO 3 (10) 21/01/2005 Texas Reliant Center, Houston, Texas, U.S. Etienne was knocked down once in the 2nd, and twice in the 3rd round.
Win 29-2-2 United States Kenny Craven TKO 2 (10) 27/11/2004 Kentucky Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. Etienne down in round 1. Craven was unable to continue due to a cut over his left eye.
Win 28-2-2 United States Talmadge Griffis UD 10 09/06/2004 Nevada City Center Pavilion, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Win 27-2-2 Ivory Coast Onebo Maxime UD 8 27/05/2004 Louisiana Alario Center, Westwego, Louisiana, U.S.
Draw 26-2-2 Mexico Gilbert Martinez PTS 8 27/03/2004 Nevada Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.
Win 26-2-1 United States Mike Sheppard KO 2 (8) 21/02/2004 Ohio Chapparells, Akron, Ohio, U.S.
Win 25-2-1 United States Shawn Robinson TKO 4 (8) 07/02/2004 Indiana Riehle Brothers Pavilion, Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.
Loss 24-2-1 United States Mike Tyson KO 1 (10) 22/02/2003 Tennessee The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Draw 24-1-1 South Africa Francois Botha PTS 10 27/07/2002 Louisiana New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. Etienne down in the 5th and 6th rounds.
Win 24–1 United States Terrence Lewis UD 10 27/04/2002 Connecticut Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, U.S.
Win 23–1 United States Gabe Brown TKO 7 (10) 02/02/2002 Florida American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida, U.S.
Win 22–1 United States Dan Ward TKO 2 (12) 08/12/2001 Mississippi Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S. Won vacant IBA Americas Heavyweight title.
Win 21–1 United States Ken Murphy KO 1 (10) 31/08/2001 Mississippi Grand Casino, Gulfport, Mississippi, U.S.
Win 20–1 United States Arthur Weathers KO 1 (10) 22/06/2001 Mississippi Grand Casino, Gulfport, Mississippi, U.S.
Loss 19–1 United States Fres Oquendo TKO 8 (10) 23/03/2001 Nevada Texas Station Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Etienne knocked down seven times, all by overhand rights: three times in the 1st round, once in the 2nd, once in the 3rd, once in the 7th and once in the 8th round.
Win 19–0 United States Lawrence Clay Bey UD 10 11/11/2000 Nevada Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Etienne was hurt at the end of the 2nd round and in the 7th round.
Win 18–0 United States Cliff Couser TKO 3 (10) 09/09/2000 West Virginia Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia, U.S. Won vacant NABF Heavyweight title. Title had been vacated by Michael Grant.
Win 17–0 United States Joey Guy KO 3 (12) 30/06/2000 Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. Won vacant IBA Continental Heavyweight title.
Win 16–0 United States Lamon Brewster UD 10 06/05/2000 Pennsylvania Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Lamon Brewster tore his knee ligaments in the 1st.
Win 15–0 United States Harold Sconiers UD 10 18/03/2000 Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 14–0 United States James Jones TKO 2 (10) 26/02/2000 Mississippi Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S. Etienne down in the 1st round.
Win 13–0 United States Marvin Hunt TKO 1 (6) 28/01/2000 Louisiana The Ruins, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 12–0 United States Dan Conway TKO 1 (4) 26/11/1999 Louisiana New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 11–0 United States Darrell Morgan TKO 1 (4) 17/09/1999 Nevada All American Sports Park, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Win 10–0 United States Clarence Goins KO 1 (?) 08/09/1999 Louisiana Treasure Chest Casino, Kenner, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 9–0 United States Abdul Muhaymin UD 8 20/08/1999 Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 8–0 United States Eric Jackson KO 1 (8) 11/06/1999 Mississippi Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
Win 7–0 United States Ronnie Smith KO 1 (?) 30/04/1999 Louisiana Marksville, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 6–0 United States Larry Scott UD 6 15/04/1999 Florida Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida, U.S.
Win 5–0 United States Wesley Martin TKO 6 (6) 27/02/1999 Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 4–0 United States Willie Kyles TKO 1 (6) 06/02/1999 Mississippi Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
Win 3–0 United States Eddie Richardson UD 6 19/01/1999 Louisiana Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 2–0 United States Curt Render TKO 1 (4) 11/12/1998 Louisiana Marksville, Louisiana, U.S.
Win 1–0 United States John Randall KO 1 (4) 03/12/1998 Mississippi Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.



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