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JM | Nov 26, 2020

RIP Trevor Berbick

/ Our Today

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Trevor Berbick (left) vs Muhammad Ali in Nassau, Bahamas in 1981. (Credit: John Iacono)

 By Fernando Davis

It has been 14 years since the tragic passing of Portland’s greatest athlete and certainly one of Jamaica’s best ever, Trevor Berbick.

In 1986, he stunned the sporting world by capturing one of sports’ biggest prizes, the World Heavyweight Championship, by beating the then unbeaten WBC Champion Pinklon Thomas.

He was also the last man to fight and beat the legendary Muhammad Ali and was also the man Mike Tyson defeated to become the youngest world heavyweight champion ever, thus, wittingly or unwittingly, cementing his place forever in the annals of boxing and sporting history.

Simply put, wherever Ali and Tyson go, as far as sports trivia is concerned – and I mean centuries from now – his name also will not be forgotten.

Trevor was a professional boxer between 1976 and 2000. His career consisted of 62 fights, with 50 wins (33 by knockout),11 losses and one draw.

Trevor Berbick (left) vs Mike Tyson in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1986. (Photo: The Ring magazine)

It is 34 years ago this week that he took on a 20-year-old Mike Tyson and lost his heavyweight crown. We remember Trevor now, particularly as Tyson prepares to re-enter the ring aged 54 to do battle with Roy Jones Jr.

Trevor was a family friend and somebody I got to know very well, especially when he returned to his native Jamaica.

I will forever cherish the Press Association of Jamaica award I won with that two part feature I did on his life. Prior to his death, I had made contact with HBO to see if they would be interested in a documentary to which they seemed excited.

What are the odds of coming from a rural community like Norwich to becoming the heavyweight champion of the world? That was my sales pitch – plus the Ali and Tyson connection of course!

Of Trevor Berbick, the former president of the Jamaica Boxing Board, C. Lloyd Allen said: “He was a decent human being despite the hiccups in his life. He was a magnanimous person, always concerned about young boxers.”

Alas, there would be no documentary. It was just not to be. His name was Trevor Berbick.

RIP Champ.


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