History | Apr 29 2019

My Night: Tony Tubbs explains why 15-round fights should return

Tony Tubbs and Greg Page had history and this time, the WBA heavyweight title was on the line. Tubbs tells the full story
Tony Tubbs
tubbs now

I WAS blessed with a long and successful career, during which I fought a lot of top names. Back in the 1980s, it was a wonderful time for the heavyweights, and I boxed six heavyweight champions in total. We were all together, [fighting] in a round-table. There was me and Tim Witherspoon and Greg Page and [James] “Bonecrusher” Smith. The top promoter [Don King], he had every fighter and he matched us up together. My best night was when I won the WBA title beating Greg Page. I was young then and fast, but I also had great experience.

I had worked with Muhammad Ali, and he taught me a whole lot. I sparred him for the second fight he had with Leon Spinks. The first spar I ever had with Ali, I was just 16 years old, and he broke my nose. He told me I had fast hands, it was just a matter of me knowing what to do with them in a fight.

The championship fight with Greg Page, he was a little cocky at that time. He and I had boxed before, five times as amateurs, and he beat me three times. He was taller than me back then and he had a longer reach. Going into the [title] fight, he said he was going to knock me out. But I told him that I was a different Tony Tubbs now, that I had grown up and matured a whole lot. I told him to get ready for a surprise.