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Trevor Berbick

From Academic Kids

Trevor Berbick was a Heavyweight boxer whose professional career spanned from 1976 until 2000. He briefly held the WBC version of the Heavyweight title in 1986, before losing it to Mike Tyson in his first defense. He is also noted for being the last man to fight Muhammad Ali, winning their 10-Round contest in Nassau, the Bahamas on December 11, 1981, by unanimous decision.

He was born on August 1, 1955 (though often reported as 1954) in Port Anthony, Jamaica. At the age of 16, he claimed to have had a vision from God. This was one of the earliest of many bizarre acts committed throughtout Berbick's life. By any account, he has lead an eventful -if troubled- life.

At the age of 21, Berbick represented his native Jamaica in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as a Heavyweight boxer despite having only 11 prior amateur contests. His lack of experience was plainly evident as he lost to the eventual silver medalist, Mircea Simion of Romania. However, he still displayed a lot of promise as a young heavyweight boxer.

Berbick did not return to Jamaica after the Olympics, however. He opted to stay in Montreal and fight professionally out of Canada. He won his first 11 fights (10 by knockout) before losing his first pro fight to another rising contender, Bernardo Mercado, on April 3, 1979.

As an amateur, Berbick had soundly beaten Mercardo. However, with 10 seconds remaining in the first round of their first and last professional meeting, Berbick walked into a punch and was knocked out cold. He rebounded somewhat after the loss, staying in contendership for the Heavyweight title.

He secured a title shot against Larry Holmes on April 11, 1981 but lost via 15-Round Unanimous decision. In his second fight after the loss to Holmes, he beat Muhammad Ali to secure his place in history as the man who finally ended the career of "The Greatest".

In 1984, he moved to Miramar, FL and signed with promoter Don King. He won the WBC version of the World Heavyweight title by upsetting Pinklon Thomas via Unanimous Decision on March 22, 1986. His reign as champion would be brief.

On November 22, 1986, in his first defense of the title, he was knocked down three times in the second round before the fight was stopped by referee Mills Lane in a second round TKO loss to a 20-Year-Old Mike Tyson. Again, he was sealed a place in history by being the man who Tyson defeated for his first Heavyweight title, symbolically providing the bridge between the era of Ali and its successor era of Tyson.

Afterwards, his career became spotty and he eventually fought his last bout on May 26, 2000 against Canadian journeyman Shane Sutcliffe (he won the fight via 12-Round Unanimous decision). After the bout, a CAT scan revealed a blood clot in his brain and as a result had his license to box revoked.

He retired to Florida to be with his wife and 3 children (he also has 3 children with his first wife in Montreal) and train boxers as a profession. However, Berbick's problems would only escalate from there. The troubled pugilist would encounter even more trouble by way of the law.

He had various arrests throughout his life and was even sentenced in Florida to 5 years in prison (he served only 15 months) for sexually assaulting the family babysitter in 1992. In 1997, he violated his parole and was ordered deported from the United States. He was again ordered deported from the U.S. on December 2, 2002.

His final professional record is 50 wins (33 Knockouts), 11 loses, and 1 draw.


Preceded by:
Pinklon Thomas
Heavyweight boxing champion (WBC)
1986
Succeeded by:
Mike Tyson

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