Greg Page vs. Tony Tubbs

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Tony Tubbs throws a right at Greg Page

1985-04-29 : Tony Tubbs 229 lbs beat Greg Page 239½ lbs by UD in round 15 of 15

Notes

  • There was a crowd of 6,579.
  • Tubbs was ranked 7th by the WBA.
  • Page's WBA title belt—along with other items reported to be worth $30,000—was stolen from his Buffalo hotel room the night before the fight.


PAGE LOSES TITLE TO TUBBS
The New York Times, April 30, 1985

BUFFALO, April 29 — Critics of Greg Page—and some admirers as well—have said that the 26-year-old boxer needed something, perhaps a bolt of lighting, to permanently free him from the notion that he was going to be the next Muhammad Ali.

The bolt of lightning may have struck tonight in the person of Tony (TNT) Tubbs. Executing a conservative but disciplined fight plan, Tubbs, challenging Page for his World Boxing Association title, capitalized on Page's every mistake to win a unanimous decision and the W.B.A. title.

It was Tubbs's first time at 15 rounds, and only the second time in eight fights that he has defeated Page. The two fought seven times as amateurs, with Page winning six bouts.

"But that was amateur boxing," Tubbs said. "Tonight we fought as professionals."

"Determination won it for me tonight," Tubbs said. "I knew it was a close fight, I was just trying to pace myself for 15 rounds. Greg's mostly a counterpuncher, and even at 239 pounds, he can hurt you with either hand, so I just tried to get there first with my punches and tag him when he came in."

Page lost two fights in a row, last March 9 to Tim Witherspoon and Aug. 31 to David Bey, then replaced his entire crew. Soon after, he won the title when he knocked out Gerrie Coetzee in the eighth round last Dec. 1. If Page revived any notions of comparisons to Ali with that victory, they were dispelled tonight.

"There is only one Muhammand Ali," said Jimmy Ellis, Tubbs's trainer, a former heavyweight world champion who was once a sparring partner for Ali. "People liked the the way he moved in the ring and the things he did. But there was only one. I guess it's tempting for a guy to try to imitate him, but you just have to find your own style."

In other title bouts, Tim Witherspoon scored a vicious second-round knockout to take the North American Boxing Federation championship from James Broad. And Hector (Macho) Camacho won a 12-round decision from Roque Montoya to win the vacated North American Boxing Federation lightweight championship.

Throughout the week, Camacho and Page had predicted early evenings for themselves. Page had said he would knock out Tubbs in four. He was sadly mistaken.

"When we first got here they told me that Greg was playing basketball and not training," Tubbs said. "Maybe he was thinking back on the amateur days. I was ready. It took me a long time to get here."

Judge Al Tremari scored it 145-142, Joe Santareia scored it 145-140 and Al Wolinski socred it 147-140 for Tubbs.

With Page (24-4) alternating between meaningless dancing and Ali-like hip gyrations, Tubbs (22-0) continually beat Page to the punch with stiff lefts and rights and sharp combinations.

When Page did his Jersey Joe Walcott walk-away, which Walcott fashioned to lure opponents into his right hand, Tubbs either ran him down and landed a looping right hand, or cut Page off and landed a left hook.

When Page tried various body feints that Ali popularized, Tubbs, displaying amazingly fast hands, shot his opponent with a sharp jab or a quick combination.

Page's scoring was sporadic. While he landed some big punches, he was never quick enough to follow up with combinations.

He missed badly and was hit. When Tubbs missed, Page, usually an excellent counterpuncher, would either just miss or catch Tubbs with a glancing punch.

"I hurt my right hand in the second round," Page said. "I'm not making any excuses. I trained hard for the fight and I did what my trainer told me to do. Tony beat me in our first professional fight, I'll beat him in the second."