KINGSTON, Jamaica – A 20-year-old nephew of former heavyweight champion Trevor Berbick has been charged with killing him, police said Friday.
Harold Berbick and an 18-year-old man from the same eastern region were charged late Thursday and were scheduled to appear in court for a hearing later in the day, constable Courtney Gibbs said.
The body of Berbick, who was believed to be 51, was discovered in a church courtyard Oct. 28 in his home parish of Portland, about 80 miles east of the Jamaican capital, where his nephew and Kenton Gordon were detained earlier this week.
Berbick was the last boxer to face Muhammad Ali in the ring and briefly held the WBC heavyweight title before losing it to Mike Tyson in 1986.
The retired fighter died from multiple blows to the back of his head, police said. A 2-inch-thick metal pipe recovered from the scene was believed to be the weapon used.
The nephew's mother, who was detained for questioning and released this week, had been involved in a long-running land dispute with Berbick, police said.
Berbick, who has been living in the area since being deported from the United States in 2002, was charged with larceny for breaking into his sister-in-law's house that year and was later cleared. Earlier this year, Berbick was charged with assault for allegedly punching the woman.
Berbick fought at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and defeated Ali in a unanimous decision in the famed champion's final bout in 1981. Berbick won the WBC heavyweight title in 1985 with a decision over Pinklon Thomas, but Tyson — who was then 20 — knocked out Berbick in the second round on Nov. 22, 1986, to become the youngest heavyweight champ.
Berbick fought from 1976 to 2000, finishing with a record of 50-11 with one draw and 33 knockouts.
Following his retirement from the ring, Berbick was convicted in the United States for sexual assault, grand theft and burglary.