Greg Page (October 25, 1958 – April 27, 2009) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1979 to 2001, and held the WBA heavyweight title from 1984 to 1985. He was also a regular sparring partner for Mike Tyson, famously knocking down the then-undefeated world champion during a 1990 session.
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Reach||81 in (206 cm)|
|Born||October 25, 1958|
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||April 27, 2009 (aged 50)|
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Wins by KO||48|
Page, after a brief stint with a Southern Indiana trainer, started amateur 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 USA–USSR Duals at the Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Page scored a major victory when he defeated Igor Vysotsky, a top-ranked heavyweight amateur boxer in the world, who never has been knocked down, 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.
By that time he was the #1 ranked amateur heavyweight in the United States.
At the USA vs. socialist countries duals held in 1977-1978 Page defeated Polish Antoni Kuskowski on points (3–0), lost a 1–2 points decision to Cuban Angel Milián, stopped Romanian Mircea Șimon in the third round, defeated East German Juergen Fanghaenel on points.
- 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 while in amateurs.
- Finished amateur career having 105 fights under his belt, with a record of 94–11.
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 championEdit
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 knockdown of his career in the second round, Page came back to KO Tillis in the eighth round.
World title fights and becoming WBA heavyweight championEdit
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. 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. Page knocked Coetzee down twice before knocking him out in the eighth round to win the title, in a round that was unusual as it overran by a minute.
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. Frequently out of shape, Page also lost to Orlin Norris in a title fight and even to the journeyman Mark Wills.
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 lost to Wills.
Page continued to fight and, in 1992, fought the Jamaican Donovan "Razor" Ruddock. Ruddock was returning after two big fights with Tyson that, due to the subsequent incarceration of Tyson, had established Ruddock as arguably the world's best heavyweight. 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. In August 1993 Page boxed future WBA Heavyweight Champion Bruce Seldon and was stopped in the ninth round. He 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 infamous breakdown in the rematch with Lewis.
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 was no ambulance, no team of paramedics, nor 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."
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.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|76 fights||58 wins||17 losses|
|76||Loss||58–17–1||Dale Crowe||KO||10 (10), 1:56||Mar 9, 2001||Peels Palace, Erlanger, Kentucky, U.S.||For vacant Kentucky heavyweight title|
|75||Win||58–16–1||Mark Bradley||TKO||1 (10), 1:20||Oct 9, 2000||Longhead's Bar & Grill, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|74||Loss||57–16–1||Robert Davis||TKO||8 (10)||Jun 29, 2000||Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|73||Win||57–15–1||Terrence Lewis||KO||7 (10), 2:01||Feb 9, 2000||Ramada Inn, Rosemont, Illinois, U.S.|
|72||Loss||56–15–1||Jorge Luis González||UD||10||Nov 14, 1999||Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon, U.S.|
|71||Win||56–14–1||Tim Witherspoon||RTD||7 (10), 3:00||Jun 18, 1999||Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.|
|70||Loss||55–14–1||Artis Pendergrass||UD||10||Apr 1, 1999||Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel, Worley, Idaho, U.S.|
|69||Win||55–13–1||Harry Daniels||KO||2 (10), 1:37||Mar 27, 1999||Genesis Convention Center, Gary, Indiana, U.S.|
|68||Loss||54–13–1||Monte Barrett||UD||10||Oct 23, 1998||Trump Marina, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|67||Win||54–12–1||George Harris||TKO||1 (10)||May 19, 1998||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|66||Win||53–12–1||Marion Wilson||UD||8||Mar 27, 1998||Trump Marina, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|65||Draw||52–12–1||Jerry Ballard||PTS||10||Jan 31, 1998||Ice Palace, Tampa, Florida, U.S.|
|64||Win||52–12||Rocky Bentley||TKO||1 (8)||Dec 16, 1997||Music City Mix Factory, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|63||Win||51–12||Harry Daniels||PTS||4||Dec 9, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|62||Win||50–12||James Holly||TKO||1 (8)||Dec 2, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|61||Win||49–12||Nate Jones||KO||1 (8)||Sep 23, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|60||Win||48–12||Moses Harris||TKO||3||Sep 9, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|59||Win||47–12||Robert Boykin||KO||1||Aug 19, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|58||Win||46–12||Wes Black||TKO||1||Jun 24, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|57||Win||45–12||Frankie Hines||KO||1||Jun 17, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|56||Win||44–12||Jerry Barnes||TKO||1||Jun 10, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|55||Win||43–12||Armando Turrubiartes||KO||1||May 20, 1997||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|54||Win||42–12||Frankie Hines||TKO||1, 1:06||Jul 23, 1996||Blakely's Restaurant & Lounge, Chesapeake, Virginia, U.S.|
|53||Win||41–12||Tyrone Miles||KO||1 (10)||Jun 15, 1996||National Guard Armory, Wentworth, North Carolina, U.S.|
|52||Win||40–12||James Burch||TKO||1 (10), 1:54||Jun 12, 1996||The Ritz, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.|
|51||Win||39–12||Robert Jackson||TKO||1 (4), 2:57||May 16, 1996||Elks Lodge, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.|
|50||Loss||38–12||Bruce Seldon||TKO||9 (12), 0:49||Aug 6, 1993||Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico||For IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title|
|49||Win||38–11||Mike Faulkner||RTD||7 (10)||May 7, 1993||Sands Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|48||Win||37–11||Dan Murphy||TKO||3 (10)||Jan 30, 1993||The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.|
|47||Win||36–11||Kevin P Porter||TKO||8 (10)||Dec 13, 1992||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|46||Loss||35–11||Francesco Damiani||UD||10||Sep 12, 1992||Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|45||Win||35–10||James Smith||UD||10||Jun 26, 1992||CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.|
|44||Loss||34–10||Donovan Ruddock||RTD||8 (10), 3:00||Feb 15, 1992||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|43||Win||34–9||Joey Christjohn||TKO||1 (10)||Nov 29, 1991||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|42||Win||33–9||Fred Whitaker||KO||2||Jun 8, 1991||Civic Arena, St. Joseph, Missouri, U.S.|
|41||Win||32–9||Mark Young||TKO||3 (8), 2:28||Mar 18, 1991||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|40||Loss||31–9||Mark Wills||TKO||6 (10), 1:34||May 19, 1990||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|39||Win||31–8||Martis Fleming||TKO||1 (10), 1:36||Mar 17, 1990||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.|
|38||Win||30–8||Charles Woolard||KO||2||Jul 21, 1989||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|37||Win||29–8||Harry Terrell||TKO||2 (10)||May 12, 1989||Fieldhouse, Struthers, Ohio, U.S.|
|36||Loss||28–8||Orlin Norris||UD||12||Apr 25, 1989||Showboat Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.||For NABF heavyweight title|
|35||Win||28–7||David Mauney||KO||1||Mar 24, 1989||Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|34||Loss||27–7||Joe Bugner||UD||10||Jul 24, 1987||Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia|
|33||Win||27–6||James Broad||MD||10||May 30, 1987||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.|
|32||Win||26–6||Jerry Halstead||KO||8||Nov 22, 1986||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.|
|31||Loss||25–6||Mark Wills||RTD||9 (10), 3:00||Jun 12, 1986||Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.|
|30||Win||25–5||Funso Banjo||DQ||8 (10)||Apr 30, 1986||Picketts Lock Stadium, London, England|
|29||Loss||24–5||Buster Douglas||UD||10||Jan 17, 1986||Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|28||Loss||24–4||Tony Tubbs||UD||15||Apr 29, 1985||Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.||Lost WBA heavyweight title|
|27||Win||24–3||Gerrie Coetzee||KO||8 (15), 3:03||Dec 1, 1984||Superbowl, Sun City, Bophuthatswana||Won WBA heavyweight title|
|26||Loss||23–3||David Bey||UD||12||Aug 31, 1984||Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Lost USBA heavyweight title|
|25||Loss||23–2||Tim Witherspoon||MD||12||Mar 9, 1984||Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||For vacant WBC heavyweight title|
|24||Win||23–1||Rick Kellar||TKO||2||Oct 15, 1983||James L. Knight Convention Center, Miami, Florida, U.S.|
|23||Win||22–1||Renaldo Snipes||UD||12||May 20, 1983||Dunes, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained USBA heavyweight title|
|22||Win||21–1||Larry Frazier||UD||10||Feb 12, 1983||Public Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.|
|21||Win||20–1||James Tillis||TKO||8 (12), 0:43||Nov 26, 1982||Astrodome, Houston, Texas, U.S.||Retained USBA heavyweight title|
|20||Loss||19–1||Trevor Berbick||UD||10||Jun 11, 1982||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|19||Win||19–0||Jimmy Young||UD||12||May 2, 1982||Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained USBA heavyweight title|
|18||Win||18–0||Scott LeDoux||TKO||4 (12), 0:10||Dec 11, 1981||Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Nassau, Bahamas||Retained USBA heavyweight title|
|17||Win||17–0||George Chaplin||SD||12||Aug 22, 1981||Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained USBA heavyweight title|
|16||Win||16–0||Alfredo Evangelista||KO||2 (10), 0:40||Jun 12, 1981||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|15||Win||15–0||Marty Monroe||RTD||5 (12), 3:00||Apr 11, 1981||Concord Resort Hotel, Thompson, New York, U.S.||Retained USBA heavyweight title|
|14||Win||14–0||Stan Ward||RTD||7 (12), 3:00||Feb 7, 1981||Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won vacant USBA heavyweight title|
|13||Win||13–0||Dave Johnson||TKO||6 (10), 1:51||Oct 2, 1980||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Leroy Boone||TKO||6 (10)||Sep 12, 1980||Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Larry Alexander||KO||6 (10)||May 16, 1980||Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||George Chaplin||MD||10||Apr 5, 1980||Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Clayman Parker||KO||1 (10), 3:09||Mar 8, 1980||The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Victor Rodriguez||KO||3 (8), 2:45||Feb 1, 1980||Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Ira Martin||TKO||1 (6), 1:03||Dec 14, 1979||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||James Reid||KO||1 (8), 1:52||Nov 24, 1979||Metropolitan Sports Center, Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Frank Brown||TKO||3 (8), 0:50||Oct 18, 1979||Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Oliver Philipps||TKO||4 (8), 2:11||Sep 22, 1979||Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||James Knox||KO||2 (4)||Aug 19, 1979||Metropolitan Sports Center, Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Jerry McIntyre||KO||1 (4), 0:52||Jun 1, 1979||Commonwealth Convention Center, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Don Martin||KO||2 (6), 0:36||Feb 16, 1979||Commonwealth Convention Center, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
- Russian Boxers Meet Americans By Tim White (AP Sports Writer), Yuma Sun, November 14, 1975, p. 14.
- Against Russians U.S. spirit 'high' for fight card By Steve Sneddon, Sports Editor, Reno Evening Gazette, December 8, 1977, p. 25.
- "Greg Page's career:a timeline". Courier-journal.com. 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". 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 Story Can't Be Forgotten". Boxinginsider.com. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
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- "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. Archived from the original on 2012-02-27. 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.
- Martin, Douglas (April 28, 2009). "Greg Page, Heavyweight Champion, Dies at 50". The New York Times. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
- "Ex-champ Greg Page slips from bed, dies". Courier-journal.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16.