Laid Out, Eyes Shut, Still Throwing Punches – Pettway Scores Scary KO Over Brown

Today In 1995, Vincent Pettway Scores Scary KO Over Simon Brown

It’s more than a touch ironic that a man who never considered himself to be a big puncher scored what is for many THE most memorable, the most disturbing, KO of the 1990s. Vincent Pettway met the teak-tough Simon Brown 25 years ago today in a wild and wickedly entertaining shoot-out that contested the IBF 154 pound belt held by Pettway.

The fight, so often overlooked as a classic, this due to the vicious and, here’s that word again, disturbing ending, really did cram a whole lot into its less than 18 minutes. This one was savage, even before the sickening ending. Really, this was a fight that showed, in graphic detail, how brave all fighters are, and just have to be.

Pettway, then 37-4-1(31) had beaten Gianfranco Rossi to take the title (this a not too shabby KO win) and Brown, 43-3(33) and a former champ at both 147 and 154, challenged him for it. The two were pretty friendly and soon enough Pettway would be very concerned about the well being of his buddy.

The fight got off to a fast, fast pace and both men soon tasted the canvas. In fact, defending champ Pettway was put down in the first round. The action was hot and fierce and in no way would a watching fan suspect the two men trading leather were in any way friendly. Pettway was downed again in the fifth, this time sent through the ropes by a seemingly low body shot. Pettway clambered back into the ring, his heart not betraying him in any way (many fighters would have looked for a DQ opportunity).

Then came the shudderingly violent ending. Round six, and countering Brown’s jab, Pettway landed a left hook, one so sharp it cut clean through Brown’s nervous system. Brown went down, flat on his back, but he carried on fighting. In his subconscious mind he was still in it.

Brown, his eyes shut tight, was throwing out slow and steady punches, his shots going into the air above him. Pettway thought his friend/foe was “having some kind of seizure.” Ever since the KO blow landed, with the introduction of You Tube, many millions of fans, gawkers, thrill seekers and casuals have looked up the fight, or actually its ending.

Pettway was kind enough to speak with this writer quite recently, and he recalled the fight of a quarter of a century ago:

“It wasn’t until I looked at the film of the fight that I realized it was the perfect punch I had landed,” Pettway said. “My body alignment, the snap, I had all my power behind the punch. I was stood in the corner, hoping he wouldn’t get back up. It was then that I saw him throwing punches still, while he was down. I really did think he was having some kind of seizure. I was concerned, not celebrating. Thankfully he was okay. We were friends, yes, but in that fight, we had to put that aside. I got so much attention after that win, after that knockout.”

No wonder, as anyone who has seen Pettway’s destructive handi-work will agree. And Pettway never considered himself a big puncher!