Sharkie's Machine: Brock TKO's The Black Rhino

22.01.05 - By Frank Gonzalez Jr.: Friday night in Houston Texas, Clifford Etienne, "The Black Rhino" (29-3-2-20 KO's) went down in the second round and twice again in the third at the hands of the new kid on the Heavyweight block, Calvin Brock (photo: Carlos Kalinchuk), who upped his record to 24-0, with 19 KO's. Referee Lawrence Cole, who could teach a course on Premature Stoppages, was quick to halt the contest after the third knock down-even though Etienne appeared quite capable of continuing. Cole "insured" that no one got hurt.

It's no surprise that with 24 professional fights on his resume, this was the first time Brock fought a credible or at least recognizable opponent in the division. Brock's last opponent, Wesley Martin, had a 16-45 record. So, Etienne was definitely a step in the right direction for the 29-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina..

It was a spirited contest and Etienne fought aggressively but was making the mistake of leaning forward and presenting his head as a target. Brock caught Etienne with a few good shots-right on the target. Between getting knocked down by Brock, Etienne was keeping it close and landing some respectable shots of his own. It even looked like Clifford might've knocked Brock out after getting up from the first knock down. But Brock held his own during the slugfests that ensued, answering with clean punches that found Etienne's head and sent him to the canvas.

This win puts Brock on the map. He's now ranked 34th in the World and is already ranked higher then a bunch of recognizable names he's never faced, like Fres Oquendo, Dominic Guinn, Fabio Moli and unbeaten Owen Beck to name just a few.

There is nothing sensational to note about Brock just yet, but he showed respectable boxing technique and apparently has enough power to have won 19 of his 24 fights by TKO and one by actual knockout. That has to count for something, even if most of his opponents were nobodies.

In America, Pro Fighters effectively continue their amateur careers for the first 25 fights, where they face hand picked opposition designed to inflate their resumes. That accounts for the fancy, unbeaten records of up and coming prospects, like Calvin Brock.

Considering the sorry state of the Heavyweight division, Brock has a good a chance as anyone to make his mark if he can score some wins over some top-20 fighters in the near future. Brock took some good shots from Etienne and showed cool under pressure. With the right promoter and some refinement of his skills, he has the potential to go far.

I'd like to see Brock take on the fighters he's already ranked above. If he beats those guys, that would lend an air of legitimacy to his unblemished record.

Agree or disagree? Comments can be emailed to

photos Carlos Kalinchuk

Article posted on 22.01.2005

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