Trevor Berbick

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Trevor Berbick
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Reach 78 in (198 cm)
Nationality Jamaican
Born (1954-08-01)August 1, 1954
Norwich, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Died October 28, 2006(2006-10-28) (aged 52)
Norwich, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 61
Wins 49
Wins by KO 29
Losses 11
Draws 1

Trevor Berbick (August 1, 1954 – October 28, 2006) was a Jamaican Canadian professional boxer. He won the WBC heavyweight title in 1986 by defeating Pinklon Thomas, and lost it in his first defence to a then 20-year-old Mike Tyson. Berbick was the last man to fight Muhammad Ali, defeating him by a 10-round Unanimous Decision in December 11, 1981.


Early life[edit]

He was born on August 1, 1954 in Norwich, Port Antonio, Jamaica.

Amateur career[edit]

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, Berbick lost a decision to future heavyweight champion Michael Dokes in the Pan American Games semifinals, winning a bronze medal.

Professional career[edit]

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 April 3, 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 cold. 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 April 11, 1981, but Berbick lost a 15-round unanimous decision. In his second fight after the loss, he beat 39-year-old Muhammad Ali 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 March 22, 1986. However, his reign as champion would be brief.

On November 22, 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.

Along with Larry Holmes, Berbick is one of only two men in professional boxing history to have fought both Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

In 1991, he went to the UWFI 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. 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.[1]

Afterwards, his career deteriorated further. 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 ring[edit]

Berbick was a preacher at the Moments of Miracles Pentecostal church in Las Vegas.

Troubles with the law[edit]

Berbick was arrested on a number of occasions throughout his life and was sentenced in Florida to 5 years in prison for sexually assaulting his children's babysitter in 1992. He served 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.[2] Later in 1999 he won the right to remain in Canada.[3]

Feud with Larry Holmes[edit]

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. The footage ends as the two are separated by police and others.[4]


He 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 December 2, 2002.


On October 28, 2006, Berbick was murdered at a church in Norwich, Jamaica by an assailant wielding a 2-inch-thick (51 mm) steel pipe. He suffered multiple blows to the head and died at the scene.[5]

Police arrested two men, one of whom was Berbick's 20-year-old nephew Harold Berbick,[6] in connection with the murder. They were interrogated at the Port Antonio police station in Portland as of early in the morning of October 29.[7] Local residents indicated that the suspect was involved in a land dispute with Berbick.[8] On November 3 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.[9] On December 20, 2007, Harold Berbick was found guilty of the murder of his uncle. His alleged accomplice, Kenton Gordon, was found guilty of manslaughter. Both were sentenced on January 11, 2008.[10] Harold Berbick was sentenced to life in prison; Kenton Gordon was sentenced to fourteen years in prison.[11] Trevor Berbick was buried at the Berbick Family Plot Norwich Portland, Jamaica.

Professional boxing record[edit]

49 Wins (33 knockouts, 16 decisions), 11 Losses (2 knockouts, 9 decisions), 1 Draw[12]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 49-11-1 Canada Shane Sutcliffe UD 12 26/05/2000 British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Retained Canada Heavyweight title. Shortly after this fight, Berbick retired and vacated the title.
Loss 48-11-1 United States Tony LaRosa SD 8 12/08/1999 Alberta Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada
Win 48-10-1 United States Iran Barkley UD 8 29/06/1999 Quebec Molson Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 47-10-1 Canada Shane Sutcliffe TKO 12 (12) 05/02/1999 Quebec Pierre-Charbonneau Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Won Canada Heavyweight title. Berbick recaptures the Canadian heavyweight crown 14 years after vacating the title.
Win 46-10-1 Canada Ben Perlini UD 10 06/08/1998 Alberta Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada
Loss 45-10-1 United States Lyle McDowell SD 12 15/09/1997 Alberta Convention Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada For vacant IBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight title.
Loss 45-9-1 United States Hasim Rahman UD 10 15/10/1996 New Jersey Caesar's Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 45-8-1 United States Louis Monaco UD 10 18/09/1996 New York (state) Music Fair, Westbury, New York, United States
Win 44-8-1 United States Ken Smith TKO 4 (10) 26/04/1996 New York (state) Westbury, New York, United States
Win 43-8-1 United States Bruce Johnson TKO 3 (?) 25/08/1995 Ohio Columbus, Ohio, United States
Loss 42-8-1 Samoa Jimmy Thunder PTS 12 15/03/1995 Minnesota Mounds View, Minnesota, United States For vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title.
Win 42-7-1 United States Melvin Foster SD 10 13/09/1994 New York (state) Westbury, New York, United States
Win 41-7-1 United States Marcellus Brown KO 2 (10) 10/08/1994 Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Win 40-7-1 United States Paul Phillips KO 4 (10) 30/07/1994 Ohio Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Win 39-7-1 United States Danny Wofford PTS 8 14/03/1994 South Carolina Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
Win 38-7-1 United States Garing Lane PTS 8 02/08/1991 France Palais des Festivals, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Win 37-7-1 United States Bobby Crabtree KO 5 (10) 14/12/1990 Florida Diplomat Hotel, Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 36-7-1 United States Jeff Sims TKO 6 (10) 18/07/1990 Ontario Varsity Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Loss 35-7-1 United States Buster Douglas UD 10 25/02/1989 Nevada Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 35-6-1 United States O T Davis KO 3 (10) 20/09/1988 Oklahoma Central Plaza Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 34-6-1 United States Carl Williams UD 12 27/06/1988 New Jersey Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States For USBA Heavyweight title. IBF Heavyweight title eliminator.
Win 34-5-1 United States Robert Evans UD 10 24/11/1987 Nova Scotia The Forum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 33-5-1 United States Lorenzo Boyd TKO 3 (10) 29/10/1987 Florida Musical Center, Sunrise, Florida, United States
Win 32-5-1 United States Art Terry TKO 5 (10) 31/07/1987 Florida Lee Civic Center, Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Loss 31-5-1 United States Mike Tyson TKO 2 (12) 22/11/1986 Nevada Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lost WBC Heavyweight title. Berbick down twice in second round.
Win 31-4-1 United States Pinklon Thomas UD 12 22/03/1986 Nevada Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won WBC Heavyweight title.
Win 30-4-1 United States Mike Perkins TKO 10 (10) 17/01/1986 Georgia (U.S. state) The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state), United States
Win 29-4-1 United States Mitch Green UD 12 10/08/1985 Nevada Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained USBA Heavyweight title.
Win 28-4-1 United States David Bey TKO 11 (12) 15/06/1985 Nevada Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won USBA Heavyweight title.
Win 27-4-1 United States Walter Santemore UD 10 28/11/1984 New Jersey Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 26-4-1 The Bahamas Andros Ernie Barr TKO 4 (12) 01/09/1984 The Bahamas Nassau, Bahamas Retained Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight title. Berbick forfeited title for failing to defend within stipulated period.
Win 25-4-1 United States Mark Lee PTS 10 13/03/1984 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London, United Kingdom
Win 24-4-1 United States Mike Cohen TKO 4 (10) 19/02/1984 Florida Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, United States
Win 23-4-1 Canada Ken Lakusta TKO 10 (12) 09/09/1983 Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Retained Commonwealth (British Empire) & Canada Heavyweight titles.
Loss 22-4-1 United States S. T. Gordon UD 10 28/05/1983 Nevada Showboat Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 22-3-1 United States Renaldo Snipes PTS 10 02/10/1982 New Jersey Sands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Berbick down in the 1st round.
Win 22-2-1 United States Greg Page UD 10 11/06/1982 Nevada Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Page broke his right thumb in the 2nd round.
Win 21-2-1 Canada Gordon Racette TKO 11 (12) 05/03/1982 British Columbia Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada Retained Commonwealth (British Empire) & Canada Heavyweight titles.
Win 20-2-1 United States Muhammad Ali UD 10 11/12/1981 The Bahamas Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Nassau, Bahamas Was Ali's last fight
Win 19-2-1 Canada Conroy Nelson KO 2 (15) 21/07/1981 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Retained Canada Heavyweight title & won vacant Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight title. Commonwealth title had vacated by John L. Gardner.
Loss 18-2-1 United States Larry Holmes UD 15 11/04/1981 Nevada Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For WBC Heavyweight title.
Win 18-1-1 United States Chuck Gardner TKO 3 (10) 31/01/1981 Jamaica Kingston, Jamaica
Win 17-1-1 Canada Chuck Findlay KO 1 (10) 11/11/1980 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 16-1-1 Canada Ron Rouselle KO 1 (12) 27/08/1980 Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Retained Canada Heavyweight title.
Win 15-1-1 United States John Tate KO 9 (10) 20/06/1980 Quebec Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Tate turned away from Berbick early in round 9 after being hit by an overhand right.
Win 14-1-1 United States Johnny Warr SD 10 11/03/1980 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 13-1-1 Nigeria Ngozika Ekwelum KO 5 (10) 11/12/1979 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Draw 12-1-1 United States Leroy Caldwell PTS 10 14/06/1979 Manitoba Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win 12–1 Canada Earl McLeay TKO 7 (12) 26/05/1979 Nova Scotia Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada Won vacant Canada Heavyweight title. Title had been vacated upon the retirement of George Chuvalo.
Loss 11–1 Colombia Bernardo Mercado KO 1 (12) 03/04/1979 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada For WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title.
Win 11–0 United States Greg Sorrentino TKO 1 (10) 08/10/1978 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 10–0 United States Gregory Johnson KO 4 (10) 12/09/1978 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 9–0 United Kingdom Tony Moore TKO 6 (10) 01/08/1978 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 8–0 Canada Horst Geisler KO 1 (10) 28/06/1978 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 7–0 United States Eugene Green UD 10 08/12/1977 Nova Scotia Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 6–0 United States Eddie Owens TKO 5 (10) 08/09/1977 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 5–0 United States Willie Moore KO 4 (10) 18/08/1977 Nova Scotia Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 4–0 United States Joe Maye TKO 7 (10) 25/01/1977 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 3–0 United States Michael (Ace) Lucas TKO 2 (6) 09/01/1977 Nova Scotia New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 2–0 United States Bobby Halpern TKO 3 (6) 23/11/1976 Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 1–0 United States Wayne Martin TKO 5 (6) 27/09/1976 New Brunswick Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada Pro debut for Berbick.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Associated Press (1999-02-18). "Trevor Berbick Ordered from Canada". AP News Archive. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  3. ^ CBC News (1999-12-05). "Boxer Berbick wins deportation fight". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016-06-05. 
  4. ^ Canada. "Sports - The Globe and Mail". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  5. ^ "Former heavyweight boxing champion found dead". London: The Guardian. October 28, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-28. 
  6. ^ Sun Sentinel
  7. ^ "Former heavyweight boxing champion found dead". Casper Star-Tribune. October 29, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-29. 
  8. ^ "Jamaican police make arrest in slaying of ex-boxing champ Trevor Berbick". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. October 30, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-30. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Nephew Charged With Berbick's Slaying". New York Times. November 3, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-03. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Berbick's nephew one of two convicted in boxer's murder - boxing - ESPN". 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  11. ^ "Berbick Killer Gets Life". 
  12. ^ "Trevor Berbick - Boxer". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
David Bey
USBA Heavyweight Champion
June 15, 1985 - March 22, 1986
Succeeded by
Tony Tucker
Preceded by
Pinklon Thomas
Heavyweight boxing champion (WBC)
March 22, 1986 - November 22, 1986
Succeeded by
Mike Tyson