Remembering Mike Bernardo Three Years After His Tragic Death (VIDEO)
Today three years ago fighting sports world was shocked by the tragic news of death of one of the greatest kickboxers ever – South African fighter Mike Bernardo.
Bernardo died at the age of 42 and he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest punchers. He fought at as much as six K-1 Grand Prix Finals while in 1996 he made it to the finals of this prestigious tournament but was then defeated by Andy Hug.
In his career Mike did 77 professional kickboxing matches with 54 wins (42 KO) and 18 losses. It should be noted that most of his opponents were top fighters such as Peter Aerts, Andy Hug, Maurice Smith and Mirko Filipović.
Those little more familiar with Mike's career know that he spent two years of his life in Croatia when his career was already somewhat on the wane. Mike began cooperating with Croatia’s well-known manager and producer Orsat Zovko. In order to kick start his career again, Zovko asked Bernardo to move to Croatia where he trained with renowned boxing experts such as Leonard Pijetraj. The fruits of his labor were evident very quickly. In 2002 and 2003 Bernardo had top results, scored some victories and came back to the Japanese K-1 scene that was blooming at the time.
However, among his friends Mike will primarily be remembered as a great and extremely charismatic man. He respected strict moral principles; he was a man of his word and a great friend.
Mike Bernardo died in unclear circumstances February 14, 2012 in his home in Cape Town where he was also buried.
On the occasion of the third anniversary of his death, Fight Channel made a tribute to this great athlete and even a greater man.