KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – A woman involved in a long-running land dispute with former heavyweight boxing champion Trevor Berbick has been detained for questioning in connection with his death, police said Monday.

Authorities identified the woman as the mother of a 20-year-old suspect arrested on Sunday. Berbick’s body was found Saturday in a church courtyard with wounds to the back of his head. A 2-inch-thick metal pipe found at the scene is believed to be the murder weapon, police said in a statement.

The woman and her son were being questioned Monday. Their names have not been released.

Earlier this year, Berbick was charged with assault for allegedly punching the woman, police said. She was detained Sunday night and lives in the parish of Portland, about 80 miles east of Kingston, where Berbick also lived.

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.

Assistant Police Commissioner Les Green said Sunday that detectives were investigating whether a family conflict sparked the attack.

Berbick, who was believed to be 52, fought at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He defeated Ali by 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 U.S. for sexual assault, grand theft and burglary.

AP-ES-10-30-06 1615EST


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