1980sAngelo DundeeBoxingDon CheverierHeavyweight BoxingHeavyweight Boxing Champions

Boxing – WBA Heavyweight Championship – Champ Greg Page VS Tony “TNT” Tubbs

DOG COMMENTARY:

Tony Tubbs is an American former professional boxer who fought as a heavyweight….who won the WBA heavyweight champion….and as an amateur….compiled a record of 240 – 13 primarily in the heavyweight division….who in a 1976 match between the USSR and the United States….lost by knockout in the second round to future Soviet Heavyweight Champion Igor Vysotsky….while in 1978 lost in the quarterfinals of the World Cup to the great Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson….becoming the only opponent who managed to go the distance with Stevenson. In 1979, Tubbs became the National AAU Heavyweight Champion by defeating Mitch Green and Greg Page in which both contests were rematches of previous defeats….and was a member of the US Boxing Team for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games….but US President Jimmy Carter managed to rob Tubbs and so many others of achieving a dream. As an amateur, Tubbs served as a sparring partner to Muhammad Ali….while helping The Greatest to prepare for his rematch with Leon Spinks for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Nicknamed TNT….Tubbs made his professional debut on June 14, 1980 with a first-round knockout of Bruce Scott…..then followed 11 fights including fights with fellow undefeated prospect Clarence Hill…..won by a ten-round unanimous decision…..then he out-pointed Jimmy Young…who had defeated George Foreman….after which he was signed with Don King and began rising up the rankings while appearing on several King under-cards. On March 15, 1985, he faced future WBA Heavyweight Champ James “Bonecrusher” Smith in a WBA title eliminator….with Tubbs winning by a unanimous decision…taking his record to 20-0 (15 knockouts)….and on April 29, 1985….Tubbs challenged Greg Page for the WBA Heavyweight Championship….featuring two men that had fought each other seven times as amateurs….with Page winning six of them….but for their only meeting as professionals….Tubbs won by a fifteen-round unanimous decision as seen in this video today.

On January 17, 1986, Tubbs made his first title defense against former WBC Heavyweight Champion Tim Witherspoon. Tubbs weighed-in at 244 pounds (111 kg)….some 15 more than he weighed for the Page fight….losing the title by a fifteen-round majority decision.  Tubbs and Witherspoon had a rematch scheduled for December 12, 1986, but Tubbs pulled out of the fight and was replaced by Bonecrusher Smith….who knocked Witherspoon out in the first round. Tubbs said he had an injured shoulder….but promoter Don King accused Tubbs of trying to get more money. On March 21, 1988, Tubbs challenged Mike Tyson for the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship….and after out-boxing Tyson in the first round….Tubbs was knocked out in the second.

On November 21, 1989, Tubbs out-pointed top contender Orlin Norris….winning the North American Boxing Federation title….but tested positive for cocaine and was stripped of the title and the victory was changed to a “no contest”.  On April 20, 1991, a 34-year-old Tubbs lost a controversial ten-round decision to future Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, Riddick Bowe. The general consensus in the media was that Tubbs had easily outboxed Bowe. On August 8, 1992, Tubbs was upset by Lionel Butler in a first-round knockout. Tubbs came back to out-point future WBA Heavyweight Champion Bruce Seldon and the undefeated Alexander Zolkin….but then suffered another first-round knockout to club fighter Jimmy Ellis.

In his professional career, which spanned from 1980 until 2006….Tubbs recorded a 47 – 10 – 2 record.

Greg Page retained the USBA title by beating Renaldo Snipes over twelve rounds and taking his WBC #1 ranking….setting up a scheduled fight with WBC heavyweight champion Larry Holmes…,but Holmes vacated the title after claiming the $2.55 million purse he was offered wasn’t enough….so, 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….allowing Witherspoon….who had lost a disputed decision to Holmes the previous year….to pulled off an upset and taking the title with a twelve-round majority decision. After the fight, Page fired his trainer Leroy Emerson and returned in August with his new trainer Janks Morton to fight undefeated 6th ranked David Bey….only to lose 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 to fight one of the great power punchers of the 1980’s in Coetzee….who was favored to retain the title….but Page 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….with the knockout coming 48 seconds after the round should have ended….and 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….as seen in this video….in a fight where 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. In January 1986, Page returned to the ring to face James “Buster” Douglas….who stunned Page and took a unanimous decision. After 13 years into a very long career and clearly past his best….Page continued to fight with a 1992 fight with the big punching Jamaican Donovan “Razor” Ruddock….who was returning after two bruising fights with Tyson….and due to the subsequent incarceration of Tyson….had established Ruddock as the most feared heavyweight in the world…..as Page gave Ruddock a hard time before being rocked by a series of big shots in the eighth round….causing 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….as Page was stopped in the ninth round and retired after the fight.

Anyway you cut the pie….these two heavyweight champions fighting in this video presented here today…..were both great heavyweights who had long professional careers….

 

2 Comments

  1. I viewed the Tubbs and Page fight from Buffalo NY April 1985. I was a ring girl for that fight and unfortunately do not have any photos from the event. During the commercial breaks is when we took the ring. Don’t know where to start to see if any photos are out there somewhere. Thanks! Barbara

    1. My name is L E and I am the curator and spokesperson for Imasportsphile….cuz I am the 2nd accredited Sportsphile that I know….with my Bone Daddy being the 1st….since I have lived with him for the better part of 133 years (dog years)….and became a Sportsphile by acclimation and osmosis. I am so glad to hear from a ring girl from this Page vs Tubbs fight….or from any fight video that I post on my web page http://www.imasportsphile.com…..for I have inherited my Bone Daddy’s collection of over 2300 hours of sports, comedy and music video which I intend to post the entire library….including some 590 championship title fights from what I call the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995). It really warms my heart to know that a ring girl found my post….cuz you just re-enforce my contention that there are maybe millions of Sportsphiles like myself out there in cyber space. I also hope that in this video….you can acquire a picture of yourself announcing the next round in such beautiful style and fashion….for we boxing fans just love the ring girls. I also hope you will turn your fiends on to my web page…..at least those who love sports, music and comedy….for I have some really great content and footage of some incredible events from the 1960’s thru the 1990’s….and thanks again for finding my work.

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