TREVOR BERBICK was an accomplished fighter—he had a record of 50-11-1 and won the WBC heavyweight title in 1986—but he's best known as the degree of separation between two boxing immortals. Berbick, who was the victim of an apparent homicide in Jamaica last Saturday, was one of two men to fight both Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. ( Larry Holmes is the other.) In '81, Berbick won a decision over Ali in what turned out to be the Greatest's final bout. Five years later Berbick was flattened by a 20-year-old Tyson, losing his belt in his first defense.
In the 1990s, Berbick was convicted of sexual assault, grand theft and burglary and served 15 months in jail. Details of his life outside the ring were always foggy, and the same is true of his death. (Berbick's birth date is a mystery; he once said, "I'm a spirit. I have no age." He's believed to have been 52 when he died.) His body, which had chop wounds on the back of the head, was found near his family home in a Kingston suburb. Jamaican police arrested a neighbor who, they said, may have had a land dispute with Berbick. Said C. Lloyd Allen, a former president of the Jamaica Boxing Board and a friend of Berbick's, "Once [Trevor] lost to Tyson, he just went down a slippery slope."