Trevor Berbick (1 August 1954 – 28 October 2006) was a Jamaican professional boxer who competed from 1976 to 2000. He won the WBC heavyweight title in 1986 by defeating Pinklon Thomas, then lost it in his first defense in the same year to Mike Tyson. Berbick was the last boxer to fight Muhammad Ali, defeating him in 1981 by unanimous decision.
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Reach||78 in (198 cm)|
|Born||1 August 1954|
Norwich, Port Antonio, Jamaica
|Died||28 October 2006 (aged 52)|
Norwich, Port Antonio, Jamaica
|Wins by KO||29|
As an amateur, Berbick won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division at the 1975 Pan American Games. In both his early and late professional career he held the Canadian heavyweight title twice, from 1979 to 1986 and 1999 to 2001. Berbick is the only boxer to have fought Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, and Mike Tyson.
At 21, Berbick represented his native Jamaica in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as a heavyweight boxer, despite having had only 11 prior amateur bouts. His lack of experience was evident as he lost to the eventual silver medalist, Mircea Şimon of Romania. However, he still displayed a lot of promise as a young heavyweight boxer. The previous year, in his only bout at the Pan American Games in Mexico City, Berbick lost a decision to future heavyweight champion Michael Dokes in the semi-finals, winning a bronze medal.
Leroy Caldwell, a boxer who fought almost all notable top-ranked heavyweights of the 1970s and early 1980s, including several world champions, recalled that Berbick was his most talented opponent.
Berbick left Jamaica after the Olympics. He opted to settle in Montreal and fight professionally out of Halifax. He won his first 11 fights (10 by knockout) before suffering his first pro loss to another rising contender, Bernardo Mercado, on 3 April 1979. As an amateur, Berbick had soundly beaten Mercado. However, with 10 seconds remaining in the first round of their only professional meeting, Berbick walked into a punch and was knocked out. Nevertheless, he remained in contention for the heavyweight title.
A 1980 upset of ex-champ John Tate (9th-round KO) secured a title shot against Larry Holmes on 11 April 1981, but Berbick lost a 15-round unanimous decision. In his second fight after the loss, he beat 39-year-old Muhammad Ali by unanimous decision in the final fight of Ali's career.
In 1982, he beat undefeated prospect Greg Page, and in 1984 he moved to Miramar, Florida and signed with promoter Don King. Wins over undefeated Mitch "Blood" Green and David Bey scored him another title fight, and he won the WBC world heavyweight title by upsetting Pinklon Thomas with an easy unanimous decision on 22 March 1986. However, his reign as champion would be brief.
On 22 November, in his first defense of the title, Berbick took on Mike Tyson, who was looking to break Floyd Patterson's record and become, at the age of twenty, the youngest ever heavyweight champion. In the second round, Tyson dropped Berbick with a quick knockdown. Berbick was quickly overwhelmed by his opponent and late in the round, he went down again. The champion rose to his feet, but immediately stumbled backward and fell back to the canvas. Berbick tried twice more to make it to his feet but fell both times, and referee Mills Lane stopped counting and waved the fight off to end Berbick's reign as champion.
In 1991, he traveled to the UWFi promotion in Japan to fight Nobuhiko Takada in a "boxer vs. wrestler" bout. Berbick claimed that he had been double-crossed and that he had expected the fight to be like American kickboxing, but it turned out that the rules allowed Takada to kick Berbick below the belt, and according to UWFi trainer Pat McCarthy, "no rules were ever changed, and [Berbick] just never wanted to listen". Berbick refused to mount any offense, instead repeatedly complaining to the referee as Takada kicked him repeatedly in the legs. Takada claimed victory by default when Berbick exited the ring.
Berbick resumed his boxing career in 1994, frequently fighting on the USA Tuesday Night Fights. He would score a mild upset over Melvin Foster but would go on to lose to prospects such as Jimmy Thunder and Hasim Rahman. He eventually fought his last bout in 2000 against Canadian journeyman Shane Sutcliffe, winning a 12-round unanimous decision. Afterwards, a CAT scan revealed a blood clot in his brain and his boxing license was revoked. His final professional record was 49 wins (33 by knockout), 11 losses, and 1 draw.
Outside the ringEdit
Berbick was a preacher at the Moments of Miracles Pentecostal church in Las Vegas.
Berbick was arrested on a number of occasions throughout his life and was sentenced in Florida to 5 years in prison for raping his children's babysitter in 1992. He served only 15 months. In 1997, he violated his parole and was deported from the United States to Canada. Due to his legal issues, he also had problems staying in Canada, losing his landed immigrant status and being ordered back to Jamaica in 1999. Later in 1999 he won the right to remain in Canada.
Feud with Larry HolmesEdit
Berbick had a well-publicized feud with Larry Holmes, whom he fought in the ring in 1981. Their feud culminated in a public confrontation and brawl in 1991, which was caught on tape. After a verbal altercation indoors, Berbick was outside complaining about being kicked and punched by Larry Holmes when Holmes climbed atop a parked car and launched himself at Berbick. Holmes was furious with Berbick badmouthing his family. The footage ends as the two are separated by police and others.
Berbick retired in Florida to be with his wife and four children (he had three children with his first wife in Montreal) and started to train boxers at Kenny Barrett's Gym in Tamarac, Florida. Berbick's problems escalated. He was again deported from the U.S. on 2 December 2002.
On 28 October 2006, Berbick was murdered at a church in Norwich, Jamaica, by an assailant wielding a 2-inch-diameter (51 mm) steel pipe. He sustained repeated blows to the head and died at the scene.
Police arrested two men, one of whom was Berbick's 20-year-old nephew Harold Berbick, in connection with the murder. They were interrogated at the Port Antonio police station in Portland early on the morning of 29 October. Local residents indicated that the suspect was involved in a land dispute with Berbick. On 3 November it was reported that Berbick's nephew, 20-year-old Harold Berbick, and an unidentified 18-year-old man had been charged with his murder by Jamaican police. On 20 December 2007, Harold Berbick was convicted for the murder of his uncle. His alleged accomplice, Kenton Gordon, was convicted of manslaughter and both men were sentenced on 11 January 2008. Harold Berbick was sentenced to life in prison; Kenton Gordon was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. Trevor Berbick's body was buried at the Berbick Family Plot Norwich, in Portland, Jamaica.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|61 fights||49 wins||11 losses|
|61||Win||49–11–1||Shane Sutcliffe||UD||12||26 May 2000||PNE Agrodome, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada||Retained Canada heavyweight title|
|60||Loss||48–11–1||Tony LaRosa||SD||8||12 Aug 1999||Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada|
|59||Win||48–10–1||Iran Barkley||UD||8||29 Jun 1999||Molson Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|58||Win||47–10–1||Shane Sutcliffe||TKO||12 (12), 0:44||5 Feb 1999||Centre Pierre Charbonneau, Montreal, Quebec, Canada||Won Canada heavyweight title|
|57||Win||46–10–1||Ben Perlini||UD||10||6 Aug 1998||Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada|
|56||Loss||45–10–1||Lyle McDowell||SD||12||15 Sep 1997||Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||For vacant IBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title|
|55||Loss||45–9–1||Hasim Rahman||UD||10||15 Oct 1996||Circus Maximus Showroom, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|54||Win||45–8–1||Louis Monaco||UD||10||18 Sep 1996||Westbury Music Fair, North Hempstead, New York, U.S.|
|53||Win||44–8–1||Ken Smith||TKO||4 (10), 1:05||26 Apr 1996||Westbury Music Fair, North Hempstead, New York, U.S.|
|52||Win||43–8–1||Bruce Johnson||TKO||3 (10)||25 Aug 1995||Columbus, Ohio, U.S.|
|51||Loss||42–8–1||Jimmy Thunder||UD||12||15 Mar 1995||Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, Minnesota, U.S.||For vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title|
|50||Win||42–7–1||Melvin Foster||SD||10||13 Sep 1994||Westbury Music Fair, North Hempstead, New York, U.S.|
|49||Win||41–7–1||Marselles Brown||KO||2 (10)||10 Aug 1994||Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|48||Win||40–7–1||Paul Phillips||KO||4 (10), 1:14||30 Jul 1994||Myrl H. Shoemaker Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.|
|47||Win||39–7–1||Danny Wofford||PTS||8||14 Mar 1994||Spartanburg, South Carolina, U.S.|
|46||Win||38–7–1||Garing Lane||PTS||8||2 Aug 1991||Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Cannes, France|
|45||Win||37–7–1||Bobby Crabtree||KO||5 (10), 2:00||14 Dec 1990||The Diplomat, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.|
|44||Win||36–7–1||Jeff Sims||TKO||6 (10), 2:15||18 Jul 1990||Varsity Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|43||Loss||35–7–1||Buster Douglas||UD||10||25 Feb 1989||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.|
|42||Win||35–6–1||O T Davis||KO||3 (10)||20 Sep 1988||Central Plaza Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|41||Loss||34–6–1||Carl Williams||UD||12||27 Jun 1988||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||For USBA heavyweight title|
|40||Win||34–5–1||Robert Evans||UD||10||24 Nov 1987||Forum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|39||Win||33–5–1||Lorenzo Boyd||TKO||3 (10), 1:48||29 Oct 1987||Musical Theater, Sunrise, Florida, U.S.|
|38||Win||32–5–1||Art Terry||TKO||5 (10), 1:33||31 Jul 1987||Lee County Civic Center, North Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.|
|37||Loss||31–5–1||Mike Tyson||TKO||2 (12), 2:35||22 Nov 1986||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Lost WBC heavyweight title|
|36||Win||31–4–1||Pinklon Thomas||UD||12||22 Mar 1986||Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Won WBC heavyweight title|
|35||Win||30–4–1||Mike Perkins||TKO||10 (10)||17 Jan 1986||Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|34||Win||29–4–1||Mitch Green||MD||12||10 Aug 1985||Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Retained USBA heavyweight title|
|33||Win||28–4–1||David Bey||TKO||11 (12), 2:30||15 Jun 1985||Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Won USBA heavyweight title|
|32||Win||27–4–1||Walter Santemore||UD||10||28 Nov 1984||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|31||Win||26–4–1||Andros Ernie Barr||TKO||4 (12)||1 Sep 1984||Nassau, Bahamas||Retained Commonwealth heavyweight title|
|30||Win||25–4–1||Mark Lee||PTS||10||13 Mar 1984||Wembley Arena, London, England|
|29||Win||24–4–1||Mike Cohen||KO||4 (10)||19 Feb 1984||Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.|
|28||Win||23–4–1||Ken Lakusta||KO||10 (12), 1:52||9 Sep 1983||Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||Retained Commonwealth and Canada heavyweight titles|
|27||Loss||22–4–1||S. T. Gordon||UD||10||28 May 1983||Showboat Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|26||Loss||22–3–1||Renaldo Snipes||UD||10||2 Oct 1982||Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|25||Win||22–2–1||Greg Page||UD||10||11 Jun 1982||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|24||Win||21–2–1||Gordon Racette||TKO||11 (12)||5 Mar 1982||Frank Crane Arena, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada||Retained Commonwealth and Canada heavyweight titles|
|23||Win||20–2–1||Muhammad Ali||UD||10||11 Dec 1981||Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Nassau, Bahamas|
|22||Win||19–2–1||Conroy Nelson||KO||2 (15), 2:49||21 Jul 1981||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada||Retained Canada heavyweight title;|
Won vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title
|21||Loss||18–2–1||Larry Holmes||UD||15||11 Apr 1981||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||For WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|20||Win||18–1–1||Chuck Gardner||TKO||4 (10), 1:12||31 Jan 1981||Kingston, Jamaica|
|19||Win||17–1–1||Chuck Findlay||KO||1 (10), 2:47||11 Nov 1980||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|18||Win||16–1–1||Ron Rouselle||KO||1 (12), 0:33||27 Aug 1980||Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||Retained Canada heavyweight title|
|17||Win||15–1–1||John Tate||KO||9 (10), 0:22||20 Jun 1980||Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|16||Win||14–1–1||Johnny Warr||SD||10||11 Mar 1980||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|15||Win||13–1–1||Ngozika Ekwelum||TKO||5 (10), 0:01||11 Dec 1979||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|14||Draw||12–1–1||Leroy Caldwell||PTS||10||14 Jun 1979||Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|13||Win||12–1||Earl McLeay||TKO||7 (12), 2:07||26 May 1979||Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada||Won vacant Canada heavyweight title|
|12||Loss||11–1||Bernardo Mercado||KO||1 (12), 2:55||3 Apr 1979||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada||For vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title|
|11||Win||11–0||Greg Sorrentino||TKO||1 (10), 1:27||8 Oct 1978||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|10||Win||10–0||Gregory Johnson||KO||4 (10), 2:49||12 Sep 1978||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|9||Win||9–0||Tony Moore||TKO||6 (10), 0:01||1 Aug 1978||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|8||Win||8–0||Horst Geisler||KO||1 (10), 1:21||28 Jun 1978||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|7||Win||7–0||Eugene Green||UD||10||8 Dec 1977||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|6||Win||6–0||Eddie Owens||TKO||5 (10), 2:34||8 Sep 1977||Forum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|5||Win||5–0||Willie Moore||KO||4 (10), 2:04||18 Aug 1977||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|4||Win||4–0||Joe Maye||TKO||7 (10), 2:50||25 Jan 1977||Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|3||Win||3–0||Michael Lucas||TKO||2 (6), 2:21||9 Jan 1977||New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|2||Win||2–0||Bobby Halpern||TKO||3 (6), 2:05||23 Nov 1976||Forum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|1||Win||1–0||Wayne Martin||TKO||5 (6)||27 Sep 1976||Festival Arena, Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada|
- "7.Panamerican Games - Ciudad Mexico, Mexico - October 12-26 1975". amateur-boxing.strefa.pl. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- Did Earnie Shavers or George Foreman hit harder? Leroy Caldwell, who fought both, gives his take, an interview by Jeff Mayweather, Las Vegas, Nevada (7 July 2016).
- "Trevor Berbick Ordered from Canada". AP News Archive. Associated Press. 18 February 1999. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- CBC News (5 December 1999). "Boxer Berbick wins deportation fight". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- Canada. "Sports - The Globe and Mail". Globesports.com. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- "Former heavyweight boxing champion found dead". The Guardian. London. 28 October 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2006.
- Sun Sentinel[permanent dead link]
- "Former heavyweight boxing champion found dead". Casper Star-Tribune. 29 October 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2006.[permanent dead link]
- "Jamaican police make arrest in slaying of ex-boxing champ Trevor Berbick". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 30 October 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2006.[dead link]
- "Nephew Charged With Berbick's Slaying". New York Times. 3 November 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2006.[dead link]
- "Berbick's nephew one of two convicted in boxer's murder - boxing - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- "Berbick Killer Gets Life". Archived from the original on 3 October 2009.
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