Greg Page (boxer)
|Real name||Greg Page|
October 25, 1958|
|Died||April 27, 2009
|Wins by KO||48|
Greg Page (October 25, 1958 – April 27, 2009) was a boxer from Louisville, Kentucky. He was the WBA Heavyweight Champion from December 1984 to April 1985, losing the title in his first defence. Page had an exceptionally long career. His professional record was 58-17-1 with 48 knockouts, defeating Gerrie Coetzee, Jimmy Young, James "Quick" Tillis, Renaldo Snipes, Alfredo Evangelista, Scott LeDoux, James Broad, James "Bonecrusher" Smith, and Tim Witherspoon. Page was a regular sparring partner for Mike Tyson, famously knocking the champ down in a 1990 session.
Page, after a brief stint with a Southern Indiana trainer, started boxing at age 15 under the tutelage of Leroy Emerson at the Louisville Parks Department gym in the Cherokee Triangle neighborhood.
He first came to the public's attention by sparring several rounds with the iconic Muhammad Ali.
In 1976, at the U.S.A.-U.S.S.R. Amateur Heavyweight Championships in Las Vegas, Page scored a major victory when he defeated Igor Vysotsky, the big punching Russian who twice beat the legendary Cuban and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Teofilo Stevenson. Page also beat James Tillis, Tony Tubbs, Mitch Green, and Marvin Stinson.
Page finished his amateur career with a record of 94-11.
Early professional career
Page turned pro in February 1979, knocking out Don Martin in two rounds before a crowd of 7,500 at the Commonwealth Convention Center in Louisville. He put together 13 straight wins, 12 by knockout. The only fighter to go the distance with Page was George Chaplin, whom he defeated by a ten-round majority decision. Afterwards, Page was ranked in the top ten by the WBA.
USBA Heavyweight Champion
After knocking out Marty Monroe and Alfredo Evangelista, Page had a rematch with George Chaplin and won by a twelve-round split decision. He followed the Chaplin win with a fourth-round knockout of Scott LeDoux.
Page retained the USBA belt with a unanimous decision over Jimmy Young on May 2, 1982. The following month, on the undercard of the Larry Holmes/Gerry Cooney fight, Page fought Trevor Berbick. Fighting with a broken right thumb from the second round, Page lost for the first time as a professional, dropping a ten-round unanimous decision to Berbick.
Page returned to defend the USBA belt against contender James "Quick" Tillis in November 1982. After suffering the first knock down of his career in the second round, Page came back to KO Tillis in the eighth round.
World title fights
According to a New York Times article, Butch Lewis had Page set up to fight the winner of Mike Weaver-Randy Cobb WBA world title fight in mid-to-late 1982, but Page had switched his allegiance from Lewis to Don King. In addition, Page had contacted his lawyer in March of that year to drop his ranking in the WBA from #2 to #3, behind Michael Dokes.
In 1983, Page retained the USBA title again, beating Renaldo Snipes over twelve rounds and taking his WBC #1 ranking. WBC heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, claiming the $2.55 million purse he was offered to fight Page wasn't enough, vacated the WBC title.
In March 1984, Page fought Tim Witherspoon for the vacant WBC belt. Incensed over money troubles with promoter Don King, Page had gone on strike in the gym and arrived out of shape for the bout. Witherspoon, who had lost a disputed decision to Holmes the previous year, pulled off an upset and took the title with a twelve-round majority decision. After the fight, Page fired Leroy Emerson as his trainer.
Page returned in August with new trainer Janks Morton, and fought undefeated David Bey, ranked sixth in the world by the WBC. Page lost his second fight in a row when Bey took a twelve-round unanimous decision.
When Bey refused to fight reigning WBA heavyweight title holder Gerrie Coetzee in Sun City, South Africa due to Apartheid, Page stepped in. Coetzee, one of the great power punchers of the 1980s, was favored to retain the title. Page, however, boxed superbly, decking Coetzee twice before knocking him out in the eighth round to win the title.
There was controversy due to the eighth round running long: the knockout was 48 seconds after the round should have ended. The timekeeper had issues with the system all night, and it had also affected undercard bouts. Although the Coetzee camp lodged a protest, the WBA stated that the time did not affect the outcome as Page looked set to win throughout.
Page made his first title defense against Tony Tubbs in Buffalo, New York on April 29, 1985. Page had beaten Tubbs six out of seven times in the amateurs and was the favorite to win, but Tubbs upset the odds and won by a fifteen-round unanimous decision. To make matters worse, Page's hotel room in Buffalo was burgled. Taken was Page's championship belt, a $13,000 watch, and a $10,000 mink coat belonging to his road cook.
Page returned to face James "Buster" Douglas in January 1986. Douglas stunned Page and took a unanimous decision.
In June 1986, Page competed in a heavyweight tournament at the Forum in Inglewood, California. He showed up horribly out of shape at 242 pounds to fight Mark Wills in a scheduled ten-rounder. Page was dropped by a barrage in the first round, but came back to deck Wills with a left hook in the second. In the sixth round, he stuck his tongue out at Wills, who immediately hit Page with an uppercut. The punch made Page bite his tongue, which would bleed profusely for the rest of the fight. Page was dropped again in the ninth round by a right to the chin. He elected to retire before the start of the 10th. This was seen in the boxing press as the end of the road for Page. In fact he was able to work his way back into several big fights.
Page became a regular sparring partner for reigning World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson in the late 1980s and boxed on several of his undercards. Before Tyson's upset loss to Buster Douglas in February 1990, Page decked Tyson in a public sparring session. He was believed to be in line to fight Tyson when he fought a rematch with Mark Wills on the undercard of the Pernell Whitaker/Azumah Nelson fight in May 1990. At a record low weight of 218 lbs, Page seemed to lack strength. In the sixth round, Page walked straight into a huge overhand right that felled him like a tree. Although he beat the count, he looked dazed enough for referee Carlos Padilla to wave the fight off.
13 years into a very long career and clearly past his best, Page continued to fight and, in February 1992, fought the big punching Jamaican Donovan "Razor" Ruddock. Ruddock was returning after two bruising fights with Tyson that, due to the subsequent incarceration of Tyson, had established Ruddock as the most feared heavyweight in the world. Page gave Ruddock a hard time before being rocked by a series of big shots in the eighth round, which caused the referee to stop the contest.
After defeating former WBA Heavyweight Champion James "Bonecrusher" Smith by a unanimous decision, Page was matched with former WBO Heavyweight Champion Francesco Damiani in September 1992. In a close contest, he lost two points for repeatedly losing his mouthpiece. The point deductions cost Page a draw: All three judges had Damiani winning by two points.
After winning three straight fights by knockout, Page boxed future WBA Heavyweight Champion Bruce Seldon in August 1993. Page was stopped in the ninth round and retired after the fight.
After retiring, Page started training boxers. He worked with Oliver McCall and was in McCall's corner when he stunningly scored a second-round knockout of Lennox Lewis to win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship in London on September 24, 1994 and was also present for McCall's breakdown in Lewis/McCall rematch pleading with McCall to, "Not do this to himself".
He trained boxers for several years, but grew restless. "I was training boxers to fight guys I could beat myself," Page said.
Page returned to the ring in May 1996. He went 16-0-1 with 15 knockouts before taking on Monte Barrett in October 1998. Barrett, 18-0 with 12 knockouts, won by a lopsided unanimous decision.
After dropping a dubious decision to journeyman Artis Pendergrass, Page had a rematch with Tim Witherspoon in June 1999. The 40-year-old Page scored a first round knockdown and won when the 41-year-old Witherspoon tore a muscle in his back and couldn't come out for the eighth round.
Page went 2-2 in his next four fights. He was well past his prime, but he continued to fight because he needed money. In 1998, Page filed for bankruptcy, claiming a $50,000 debt. By 2000, he was working his first 9-to-5 job, painting dental equipment at Whip-Mix Corp. in the South End of Louisville.
On March 9, 2001, Page fought Dale Crowe at Peel's Palace in Erlanger, Kentucky for $1,500. Page appeared to be holding his own with Crowe until the tenth round. Crowe said, "The timekeeper smacked the mat with his hand toward the end of the fight to indicate ten seconds were left, and that's when I went after Greg with one last flurry." Crowe hit Page with a flush left to the chin and then pushed him back. Page fell against the ropes, slid down, and was counted out by the referee.
What followed was chaos. There wasn't an ambulance, a team of paramedics, or oxygen, all of which were required by law. The ringside doctor, Manuel Mediodia, wasn't licensed in Kentucky and was under suspension in Ohio. At the time of the stoppage, Mediodia had already left and had to be brought back into the building. Twenty-two minutes passed before an ambulance arrived.
Before the fight, Page's trainer, James Doolin, complained to several members of the state commission about the conditions, including the lack of oxygen. He then wrote his complaints on a piece of paper and sealed it inside an envelope. Doolin gave it to the commission chairman, Jack Kerns, who then gave it back to Doolin. "Mail it to me," Kerns said.
Page was taken to the emergency room at St. Luke's hospital, where a CT scan revealed a huge mass being formed by the bleeding inside his head. He was then transported to University Hospital in Cincinnati. During post-fight brain surgery, he suffered a stroke and was left paralyzed on the left side of his body. Page was in a coma for nearly a week.
For the rest of his life, Page suffered many complications from his injury. He was hospitalized numerous times for such ailments as pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, sepsis, hypothermia, and seizures.
Page filed a lawsuit against the state of Kentucky and settled out of court for $1.2 million in 2007. As part of the settlement, boxing safety regulations the state enacted the previous year were named the "Greg Page Safety Initiative."
Professional boxing record
|58 Wins (48 knockouts, 10 decisions), 17 Losses (6 knockouts, 11 decisions), 1 Draw|
|Loss||58-17-1||Dale "The Crow" Crowe||KO||10||09/03/2001||Erlanger, Kentucky, United States||Kentucky Heavyweight Title. Page knocked out at 2:56 of the tenth round.|
|Win||58-16-1||Mark "The Spark" Bradley||TKO||1||09/10/2000||Louisville, Kentucky, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:20 of the first round.|
|Loss||57-16-1||Robert "Desert Storm" Davis||TKO||8||29/06/2000||New York City, United States|
|Win||57-15-1||Terrence "K.O." Lewis||KO||7||09/02/2000||Rosemont, Illinois, United States||Lewis knocked out at 2:01 of the seventh round.|
|Loss||56-15-1||Jorge Luis Gonzalez||UD||10||14/11/1999||Portland, Oregon, United States||92-98, 95-96, 92-98.|
|Win||56-14-1||"Terrible" Tim Witherspoon||RTD||7||18/06/1999||Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States||Witherspoon could not answer the bell for round eight.|
|Loss||55-14-1||Artis "The Mad Boxer" Pendergrass||UD||10||01/04/1999||Worley, Idaho, United States||93-98, 96-97, 93-96.|
|Win||55-13-1||Harry "Heatwave" Daniels||KO||2||27/03/1999||Gary, Indiana, United States||Daniels knocked out at 1:37 of the second round.|
|Loss||54-13-1||Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett||UD||10||23/10/1998||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||91-99, 91-99, 91-99.|
|Win||54-12-1||"Gorgeous" George Harris||TKO||1||19/05/1998||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||53-12-1||Marion "The Creep" Wilson||UD||8||27/03/1998||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Draw||52-12-1||Jerry "The Technician" Ballard||PTS||10||31/01/1998||Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Win||52-12||Rocky Bentley||TKO||1||16/12/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||51-12||Harry "Heatwave" Daniels||PTS||4||09/12/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||50-12||James Holly||TKO||1||02/12/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||49-12||"Great" Nate Jones||KO||1||23/09/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||48-12||Moses "The Patriarch" Harris||TKO||3||09/09/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||47-12||Robert Boykin||KO||1||19/08/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||46-12||Wes Black||TKO||1||24/06/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||45-12||Frankie Hines||KO||1||17/06/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||44-12||Jerry Barnes||TKO||1||10/06/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||43-12||Armando Furrubiartes||KO||1||20/05/1997||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||42-12||Frankie Hines||TKO||1||23/07/1996||Chesapeake, Virginia, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:06 of the first round.|
|Win||41-12||Tyrone Miles||KO||1||15/06/1996||Wentworth, North Carolina, United States|
|Win||40-12||James Burch||TKO||1||12/06/1996||Raleigh, North Carolina, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:54 of the first round.|
|Win||39-12||Robert Jackson, Jr.||TKO||1||16/05/1996||Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States|
|Loss||38-12||Bruce "The Atlantic City Express" Seldon||TKO||9||06/08/1993||Bayamon, Puerto Rico, United States||IBF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||38-11||Mike Lee Faulkner||TKO||7||07/05/1993||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||37-11||Dan "The Businessman" Murphy||TKO||3||30/01/1993||Memphis, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||36-11||Kevin P Porter||TKO||8||13/12/1992||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||35-11||Francesco Damiani||UD||10||12/09/1992||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||93-95, 93-95, 93-95.|
|Win||35-10||James "Bonecrusher" Smith||UD||10||26/06/1992||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||34-10||Donovan "Razor" Ruddock||TKO||8||15/02/1992||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Page out on his feet; ref stopped bout seconds after the end of rd. 8.|
|Win||34-9||Joey Christjohn||TKO||1||29/11/1991||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||33-9||Fred Whitaker||KO||2||08/06/1991||Saint Joseph, Missouri, United States|
|Win||32-9||Mark "The Storm" Young||TKO||3||18/03/1991||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 2:28 of the third round.|
|Loss||31-9||Mark Anthony Wills||TKO||6||19/05/1990||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||31-8||Martis Fleming||TKO||1||17/03/1990||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:36 of the first round.|
|Win||30-8||Charles "White Lightning" Woolard||KO||2||21/07/1989||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||29-8||Harry Terrell||TKO||2||12/05/1989||Youngstown, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||28-8||Orlin "The Juice" Norris||UD||12||25/04/1989||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||NABF Heavyweight Title. 111-117, 112-116, 113-116.|
|Win||28-7||David Mauney||KO||1||24/03/1989||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Loss||27-7||Joe Bugner||UD||10||24/07/1987||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia||92-100, 94-98, 93-97.|
|Win||27-6||James "Broad Axe" Broad||MD||10||30/05/1987||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||95-94, 96-93, 94-94.|
|Win||26-6||Jerry "Wimpy" Halstead||KO||8||22/11/1986||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||25-6||Mark Anthony Wills||TKO||9||12/06/1986||Inglewood, California, United States|
|Win||25-5||Funso Banjo||DQ||8||30/04/1986||Edmonton, London, United Kingdom|
|Loss||24-5||James "Buster" Douglas||UD||10||17/01/1986||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Loss||24-4||Tony "TNT" Tubbs||UD||15||29/04/1985||Buffalo, New York, United States||WBA World Heavyweight Title. 140-145, 142-145, 140-147.|
|Win||24-3||Gerrie "The Bionic Hand" Coetzee||KO||8||01/12/1984||Sun City, Bophuthatswana||WBA World Heavyweight Title. Coetzee knocked out at 3:03 of the eighth round.|
|Loss||23-3||David "Hand Grenade" Bey||UD||12||31/08/1984||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||USBA Heavyweight Title. 112-116, 114-115, 113-115.|
|Loss||23-2||"Terrible" Tim Witherspoon||MD||12||09/03/1984||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||WBC World Heavyweight Title. 111-117, 111-117, 114-114.|
|Win||23-1||Rick "King Kong" Kellar||TKO||2||15/10/1983||Miami, Florida, United States|
|Win||22-1||Renaldo Snipes||UD||12||20/05/1983||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||USBA Heavyweight Title/WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator. 115-112, 116-112, 115-111.|
|Win||21-1||"Laughing" Larry Frazier||UD||10||12/02/1983||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||100-92, 99-91, 99-91.|
|Win||20-1||James "Quick" Tillis||TKO||8||26/11/1982||Houston, Texas, United States||USBA Heavyweight Title.|
|Loss||19-1||Trevor Berbick||UD||10||11/06/1982||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||94-96, 92-98, 92-98.|
|Win||19-0||Jimmy Young||UD||12||02/05/1982||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||USBA Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||18-0||Scott "The Fighting Frenchman" LeDoux||TKO||4||11/12/1981||Nassau, Bahamas||USBA Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||17-0||George Chaplin||SD||12||22/08/1981||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||USBA Heavyweight Title. 6-5, 5-6, 7-4.|
|Win||16-0||Alfredo Evangelista||KO||2||12/06/1981||Detroit, Michigan, United States||Alfredo knocked out at 0:40 of the second round.|
|Win||15-0||Marty Monroe||RTD||5||11/04/1981||Kiamesha Lake, New York, United States|
|Win||14-0||Stan "Avalanche" Ward||TKO||7||07/02/1981||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||USBA Heavyweight Title. Ward did not answer the bell for round eight.|
|Win||13-0||Dave "Bigfoot" Johnson||KO||6||02/10/1980||New York City, United States|
|Win||12-0||Leroy Boone||TKO||6||12/09/1980||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||11-0||"Scary" Larry Alexander||KO||6||16/05/1980||Lexington, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||10-0||George Chaplin||MD||10||05/04/1980||Louisville, Kentucky, United States||99-94, 99-96, 97-97.|
|Win||9-0||Clayman "Sandman" Parker||KO||1||08/03/1980||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||8-0||Victor "Hot Rod" Rodriguez||KO||3||01/02/1980||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||7-0||Ira Martin||TKO||1||14/12/1979||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:03 of the first round.|
|Win||6-0||James Reid||KO||1||24/11/1979||Bloomington, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||5-0||Frank "The Tank" Brown||KO||3||18/10/1979||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||Brown knocked out at 0:50 of the third round.|
|Win||4-0||Oliver Philipps||TKO||4||22/09/1979||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||3-0||James "Hard" Knox||KO||2||19/08/1979||Bloomington, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||2-0||Jerry McIntyre||KO||1||01/06/1979||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||1-0||"Dandy" Don Martin||KO||2||16/02/1979||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
In the early morning hours of April 27, 2009, Page died at home in Louisville. His death was consistent with positional asphyxia, an inability to breathe because of body position. "He had a hospital bed at home, and he slid out, which he has done before," said Jim Wesley, a Jefferson County deputy coroner. "His head was lodged between the rail and the bed."
About 100 friends, family and admirers gathered at Our Lady of Mount Carmel for his funeral, which ran more than two hours. Amid tears, gospel music and emotional speeches, messages were read from State Senator Gerald Neal, who praised Page's "gallant fight," and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, who said Page's legacy would live on.
- 1975 National Golden Gloves Quarterfinalist, losing a decision to John Tate.
- 1976 Ohio State Fair Champion, upsetting National AAU Champion Marvin Stinson.
- 1976 National Golden Gloves Semi-Finalist, losing a decision to Michael Dokes.
- 1977 National AAU Heavyweight Champion, defeating Woody Clark. Page avenged an earlier loss to Clark, and was named the tournament's outstanding boxer.
- 1977 National Golden Gloves Finalist, losing to Jimmy Clark.
- 1978 National AAU Heavyweight champion.
- 1978 National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion,stopping William Hosea at 2:38 of the second round
- Defeated Igor Vysotsky, the man who twice beat Cuban legend Teofilo Stevenson.
- Defeated Tony Tubbs six out of seven times during their amateur careers.
- Finished amateur career at 94-11.
- Martin, Douglas (April 28, 2009). "Greg Page, Heavyweight Champion, Dies at 50". The New York Times. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
- "Greg Page's career:a timeline". Courier-journal.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Page stopped by Wills". News.google.com. 1986-06-08. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- PHIL BERGER, Special to The New York Times (1990-05-20). "New York Times 20 May 1990". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Ruddock beats Page to start new era". News.google.com. 1992-02-16. Retrieved 2010-07-16.[dead link]
- Hugh McIlvanney (1994-10-03). "A Sudden Leap To The Top". Sportsillustrated.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Former Heavyweight Champ Greg Page Passes at 50". Boxingalongthebeltway.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Battle of Aged". Nytimes.com. 1999-06-19. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- Adams, Jim (2005-06-17). "Prodigy Greg Page adapts to life with brain injury". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Greg Page is Down, But Not Out". Counterpunch.org. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Greg Page Story Can't Be Forgotten". Boxinginsider.com. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Greg Page in the Fight of His Life". Courier-journal.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Driven from the ring by injury, Page battles a new foe - his body". Courier-journal.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- Kenning, Chris (2009-05-04). "Page remembered for tough fights in and out of the ring". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Former WBA Heavyweight Champion Greg Page in Jewish Hospital". Thesweetscience.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Ex-heavyweight champ Page improving in Louisville hospital". Usatoday.com. 2006-02-27. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Ex-heavyweight champ out of hospital after falling ill". ESPN.com. ESPN. Associated Press. 2006-12-26.
- "Ex-champ Greg Page slips from bed, dies". Courier-journal.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
|United States Amateur Heavyweight Champion
|WBA Heavyweight Champion