Former heavyweight champ involved in the weirdest exhibition match ever

In the era of the exhibition match, WBN takes a look back at former world heavyweight champion Trevor Berbick fighting in possibly the weirdest one ever.

The ex-WBC champion, who famously lost to Mike Tyson in two rounds to pass the top division torch to the youngest ever heavyweight champion in 1986, participated in the match in 1991.

Berbick was 37 at the time and winding down his career. He was on the verge of a three-year retirement from boxing when he faced Japanese MMA and wrestling star Nobuhiko Takada.

The bout was agreed, as many probably are today, to be a worked match-up. In essence, both men knew how the fight would go down beforehand. However, Berbick was either a) not in on the situation – or b) the fight was one of the worst put-together exhibitions of all time.

It was undoubtedly the weirdest.

Upon the sounding of the first bell, Takada tested Berbick with a low kick. It seems as though Berbick was unaware that those kinds of strikes were legal in the bout.

He subsequently complained to the referee but was hit with more of the same. After a couple of minutes of being kicked, backed up, and complaining, Berbick decided he’d had enough.

In the chaos of the event, Berbick walked out of the ring and forfeited the fight. Even stranger, Berbick then knelt in the crowd and attempted to show off injuries to his leg as Takada celebrated his victory.

Heavyweight Trevor Berbick vs Takada


It has to go down as a complete failure to either workout and communicate what they’d be doing in the squared circle or give the fans anything for their money.

Berbick wouldn’t be seen in a boxing ring for another three years after 1991. His run lasted another six years until full retirement in 2000.

During his boxing career, the Jamaican-Canadian defeated a past prime Muhammad Ali and an undefeated Pinklon Thomas.

His defeats included the infamous Tyson loss and a Larry Holmes points reverse. Later, Berbick suffered defeats to Jimmy Thunder and Hasim Rahman.

If boxing fans want to see what exhibitions mean to the sport in the long term, they should look at what transpired between Berbick and Takada.

Not really Pay Per View worthy, was it?