Greg Page (boxer) bigraphy, stories - American boxer

Greg Page (boxer) : biography

25 October 1958 - 27 April 2009

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. 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 in an exceptionally long career, and was a regular sparring partner for Mike Tyson, famously knocking the champ down in a 1990 session.

Amateur achievements

  • 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.

Death

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.

Downward spiral

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, and, in a shocking result, elected to retire before the 10th.

Page became a regular sparring partner for reigning World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson in the late 80's 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.

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