Trevor Berbick vs. Mike Tyson

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"Judgment Day"
Berbick vs Tyson.jpg
DateNovember 22, 1986
VenueLas Vegas Hilton in Paradise, Nevada
Title(s) on the lineWBC Heavyweight Championship
Tale of the tape
Boxer Trevor Berbick Mike Tyson
Hometown Norwich, Port Antonio, Jamaica Catskill, NY, US
Pre-fight record 31–4–1 27–0
Height 6'2" 5'11"
Weight 218.5 lbs 221 lbs ?
Style Orthodox Orthodox
Recognition WBC
Heavyweight Champion
#1 Ranked Heavyweight
Tyson winner by KO

Trevor Berbick vs. Mike Tyson, billed as "Judgment Day", was a professional boxing match contested on November 22, 1986 for the WBC Heavyweight Championship.


In 1986, the three major boxing organizations, the World Boxing Council, the World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Federation teamed with HBO to create a heavyweight championship tournament in an effort to crown the first Undisputed Heavyweight Champion since Leon Spinks in 1978.[1] All three of the organizations' heavyweight champions, as well as several of the sport's top contenders, were entered into the tournament. In the first leg of the tournament, Trevor Berbick met then-WBC champion Pinklon Thomas for the WBC portion of the heavyweight title. In a closely contested fight, Berbick was able to narrowly earn the victory by unanimous decision to capture his first major heavyweight title. However, his first defense of that title would come against the 20-year-old undefeated sensation Mike Tyson, who was 27–0 with 25 of his victories coming by way of knockout. Tyson had gone 12–0 in the year of 1986 alone and officially qualified for the unification series with a second-round knockout victory over Alfonso Ratliff in September.[2] Though the 32–year old Berbick entered the fight as the champion, he was installed as a 3–1 underdog to Tyson, who, at 20 years old, was 12 years younger than Berbick and trying to surpass Floyd Patterson as the youngest man to win a major Heavyweight title in the history of the sport.[3]


Tyson dominated Berbick, easily picking up the victory by way of second-round technical knockout. From the opening bell, Tyson was the aggressor, hammering Berbick with several powerful punches. Towards the end of the round, Tyson hit Berbick with a four-punch combination that sent Berbick across the ring. Berbick managed to stay on his feet, but Tyson continued to attack, hitting Berbick several more times until the bell sounded. Tyson picked up right where he left off in round 2, almost immediately hitting Berbick with a combination that dropped the champion. Berbick was able to answer the referee's count and the fight continued. Berbick, however, was unable to mount any offense going and was rocked continuously by Tyson. Tyson finally ended the fight at the 2:35 mark, hitting Berbick with a right to the body followed by a left hook to the head that dropped the older man for the second time. Berbick attempted to get up twice, only to collapse both times, causing referee Mills Lane to call the fight and award Tyson the victory via technical knockout.[4]


Berbick would continue to fight into the year 2000, but was unable to match his previous success, never again fighting for the Heavyweight championship.

Tyson, meanwhile, would continue his dominance through the rest of the decade, next defeating James "Bonecrusher" Smith to win the WBA Heavyweight title. After defeating former champ Pinklon Thomas to retain his two titles, Tyson would meet IBF Heavyweight champion Tony Tucker in match that would unify all three major heavyweight titles, a match Tyson would win via unanimous decision to become the Undisputed Heavyweight champion.[5]

This fight was mentioned in the animated TV series Mike Tyson Mysteries episode "Ultimate Judgement Day" from 2014. In the episode Mike Tyson says Trevor Berbick wanted to call their 1986 fight 'Ultimate Judgement Day', but then ghost of Berbick appears to correct Tyson, saying that it was actual Tyson was the boxer that wanted to call it 'Ultimate Judgement Day.' Tyson thanks Berbick for the correction, and then says, "Rest in Peace, Trevor Berbick!" while waving his hand to make the ghost of Trevor Berbick disappear. [6]


  1. ^ Hbo Series Tries Clearing Boxing Mess, Chicago Tribune article, 1986-04-15, Retrieved on 2013-09-05
  2. ^ Tyson to Join HBO'S Series, N.Y. Times article, 1986-08-22, Retrieved on 2013-09-05
  3. ^ "Thirty years after Mike Tyson became champion, unfulfilled promise is the lasting memory". Washington Post. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Mike Tyson shook the world by beating Trevor Berbick... 30 years to the day since he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history". Daily Mail. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Mike Tyson: Memories of a magnificent fighting machine". BBC Sport. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  6. ^