JEFF PAGE JNR, 24, of Kansas is the next foe to face the powerful fists of unbeaten Russian terror Artur Beterbiev. But Page, 15-0(10) does not come across as at all fazed ahead of this, the biggest fight of his fledgling 20-month pro career, and he’s expecting to score the upset in Canada on December 19th.
Q: People seem very impressed with Beterbiev and his power, especially after he blew away Tavoris Cloud (above). How much have you seen of Beterbiev and how impressed are you?
Jeff Page Junior: “I think he’s a great fighter, with great power. It was a great win for him against Cloud, but to me, Tavoris Cloud didn’t really look like he wanted to be in there for anything but a payday. That is not the case with me. I’m coming to win and I fully expect to get the victory. I have punching power myself, I’m 15-0 with 13 knockouts (Boxrec have Page at 15-0 with ten KO’s). I’ve seen all of Beterbiev’s pro fights and some of his amateur fights. He had a great career as an amateur, but I could have done all the things he did as an amateur, but I just chose to go to college instead, and play college football. And now we’re meeting up as pros.”
Q: What was your amateur record, and how would you describe your fighting style today?
J.P: “I had around 100 fights. My record was 88 and 11 or 90 and 11, something like that. I’m fast and explosive. I’m able to adapt to any style though. I can walk a guy down if he runs, which is what Beterbiev does, and I can use my foot speed and I can use angles. I can do it all.”
Q: Will this be your first fight in Canada and are you excited or nervous?
J.P: “This will be my first fight out of the country. I’m real excited. I’m not nervous, the fight is still too far away for that. But when I beat this guy, all the doors will open for me. My family and me, we’re hoping for the win and we’re fully expecting the win and then for big things to happen. That’s what we train for, the big fights. I’m always in shape and I want the big fights; that’s why we took this fight. I’ve only been a pro for 20-months and I’ve had 15 pro fights. This is it for me [boxing], it’s what I do and it’s fulltime.”
Q: Beterbiev has yet to go past the fourth-round and he seems to always look for the big KO. How will you fight him?
J.P: “I’ll move and I’ll box. But make mo mistake, I won’t run from him, no way! I’m not afraid to trade with him and I know I’ll be in shape for ten rounds; even though I train for knockouts. This is a great opportunity for me, even though the NABA belt will not be on the line now, so they tell me. That’s kind of disappointing but it’s still a great opportunity for me and for my family. It will be great if I can get him into the deep waters, of the second half of the fight, where he’s not comfortable and used to going. I know he’ll be in shape, but it’s totally different in a fight when you’re in the later rounds and the other guy’s still coming. He’s used to getting quick knockouts, but let’s see how he reacts in the second half of the fight when I’m still coming forward and he’s thinking, ‘what the hell!’”
Q: You come from a boxing family?
J.P: “My uncle is my trainer and my Dad is my manager. My 21-year-old brother just went pro. I put the gloves on at age 8 and I loved it from the day my uncle took me to the gym. I like watching guys like Chris Algieri, a great boxer who moves well. And I like watching Gennady Golovkin. I will be working with Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez for this fight. I’m heading out to Big Bear soon. It will be great working with Abel. He’s excited about the fight himself and we’ll sit down and watch tapes of Beterbiev and he’ll teach me things and give me advice. He’ll be my head trainer for this fight. I’m fully confident I’ll get the win and being the underdog doesn’t bother me at all.”