LAS VEGAS, Nev. — World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Trevor Berbick, largely overlooked amid the hype of Mike Tyson's quest to become the youngest heavyweight champion ever, is promising an unexpected ending to their Nov. 22 battle for the title.
"I love breaking those bubbles that have never been busted," Berbick said Thursday. "I'm going to give him a good whipping, then knock him out."
Berbick, a 4-1 underdog to retain the title he won last March against Pinklon Thomas, claims his experience and 13-year age advantage over the 20-year-old heavyweight sensation will make the difference in the scheduled 12-round fight.
"I'm going to take him to school," said Berbick. "I'm very relaxed about this fight. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me."
Berbick brings a 31-4-1 record with 23 knockouts into the fight and owns victories over Thomas and a fading Muhammad Ali. He also was the first fighter to extend Larry Holmes to 15 rounds in a title defense, although he lost the decision.
But Tyson has some credentials of his own, despite having fought professionally only 20 months.
Undefeated in 27 fights, he has knocked out 25 of his opponents, including 15 in the first round.
"I take advantage of the opportunities I'm presented," Tyson said of his knockout string. "But I'd be happy to win a 12-round decision if it goes the distance."
Both fighters made their comments at a press conference called to hype the fight, which is expected to attract a sellout crowd of about 8,300 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
The bout is part of the heavyweight elimination series promoted by Don King and the Hilton.