Trevor Berbick, Rest In Peace

By Michael Marley


Trevor Berbick, Rest In Peace

You always knew not so clever Trevor Berbick would come to a violent end. News reports out of Jamaica report that the 51-year-old former world heavyweight champion was murdered by a hatchet or machete wielding assailant. Bad news seem to swirl about Berbick inside and outside of the ring. After a 20-year-old Mike Tyson punched him into a drunken moon walk in a Las Vegas ring, Berbick's life away from boxing started sliding.
There are a lot of fighters who act crazy. You know, like James Toney. But Berbick never had a firm grip on reality. When Larry Holmes had a comeback bout in Florida, Berbick stood around the post-fight press conference making X-rated allegations about Holmes and he sharing a mistress in Las Vegas. It didn't help that Holmes' wife was within earshot.
I stood taking notes outside the hotel as Berbick rambled on when, suddenly, I saw Holmes leaping off the roof of an SUV with his boots aiming for Trevor's head. I dodged the flying champion but Holmes started to give Berbick a real whupping until Trevor ran out into traffic on Federal Highway in Hollywood. You may have seen the wild footage of Holmes aerial attack on ESPN and elsewhere.

Berbick was convicted of rape in Florida. He had tax problems. Eventually, he was deported to Canada and then I think Canada deported him. That is how he wound up back in his native Jamaica.
Another memory I have of Berbick is the "Trauma In Bahama," Muhammad Ali's final pro bout. The promoters were an unsavory group who gave Don King and King lawyer, Charley Lomax, a hotel suite beating in Freeport when they thought King was interfering with their show. There were rumors on fight day that Berbick was pulling out of the fight.
Finally, a bag man from Denver showed up with the cash. He and his cohorts went to Berbick's room, gave him the money in advance, and Berbick decisioned Ali in a fight that was arguably 6-4 in rounds. This was the show where they pitched a ring in a cow pasture and had a cowbell tolling the rounds.
Berbick, RIP. A violent end caused by a madman with a hatchet or a machete. If you knew Trevor like I knew Trevor, you can't be shocked. Berbick had a crazy way of making other people crazy.


Send questions and comments to: