Remembering Muhammad Ali’s Caribbean Fight – His Last

muhammed-ali-bahamas-last-fight
Trevor Berbick, left, exchanges punches with Mohammad Ali, right, during a heavyweight fight December 11, 1981 at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in Nassau, Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Berbick won the fight in a ten round unanimous decision. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
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muhammed-ali-bahamas-last-fight
Trevor Berbick, left, exchanges punches with Mohammad Ali, right, during a heavyweight fight December 11, 1981 at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in Nassau, Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Berbick won the fight in a ten round unanimous decision. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

By NAN Sports Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Sat. June 4, 2016: Muhammad Ali, ‘the Black Super Man,’ is no more. Ali passed away at a Phoenix-area hospital at age 94 Friday evening after a three decade fight with Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition that slowly robbed him of both his verbal grace and his physical dexterity. But the world cannot stop talking about his greatest boxing matches – including of course his very last fight in the Caribbean region.

The day was December 11, 1981. Ali, born Cassius Clay, was at the time attempting his second comeback from retirement after losing and regaining the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champ crown in 1978.

He re-emerged in October 1980 to fight a championship bout against Larry Holmes, who knocked him out in the 11th round in a one-sided battle. Ali refused to accept the result, however, and pushed to set up the fight with Jamaican boxer Trevor Berbick in the Bahamas in order to prove himself.

But Berbick beat the former heavyweight champion in a unanimous 10-round decision, before a crowd of 10,000 at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in Nassau, Bahamas.

Ali put in his best performance in the middle of the Berbick fight, seeming to win the fifth and sixth rounds with his combinations and aggressive punches. From the seventh round on, however, control belonged to the 27-year-old Berbick, whose speed and power allowed him to inflict a series of damaging punches, batter Ali in the corner, land a punch to the head in the ninth, and get him on the ropes in the tenth. In the end, all three judges gave the match to Berbick.

Ali retired for good after the fight, finishing his career with an overall record of 56-5 and earning a lasting reputation as one of the 20th century’s most influential sportsmen.

A funeral service is planned for Ali in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.