Michael Page plans on being a busy man in the combat sports world.
The Bellator welterweight star made his boxing debut last weekend, picking up a third-round technical knockout win over Jonathan Castano. “Venom”, who’s made a name for himself in the MMA world for his unorthodox and flashy fighting style, was able to transfer his striking skills and funky approach from the MMA cage to the boxing ring.
Page enjoyed the experience, and he plans on continuing a career in boxing.
“I think it’s very apparent from all of my fights that you can see that I enjoy what I do and boxing is no different,” Page told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I enjoyed the preparation, as hard as it was, but yeah, when I finally got there and stepped in the ring it was just as enjoyable and I’m glad it went the way it went.
“Obviously, I’m a kickboxer so I enjoy being able to use my legs as well. I feel like I can be a little bit more creative in MMA, but I just enjoy the spotlight and I did have a blast in boxing. I’m definitely eager to do some more boxing, but I still love MMA.”
It’s not often that we see an MMA fighter signed to a major promotion like Bellator go on and compete in boxing. Yet, Page said Bellator had no issues allowing him to test his skills in the sweet science, and that they were actually in ‘full support’ of him trying out another combat sport.
Although Page’s new venture might have felt like it was just part of the recent McGregor-Mayweather craze, it has actually been in the making for a long time. Page, who signed with David Haye’s Hayemaker Ringstar promotional stable, recalls being encouraged by the decorated British heavyweight to change gloves before the MMA-to-boxing crossover was a thing.
“David Haye is a very good friend of my coach Alexis (Demetriades) and they’re very good friends, they’ve done work together before, and he’s actually done some fitness work for some of his bouts with my coach,” Page explained. “He (Haye) used to come to the gym a lot of times just to socialize and talk with his friends and probably around four, five years ago, he came to watch me spar and I was doing boxing rounds at the time and he was like, ‘man, you should come over and do some boxing, like you’re really good at it’. And from way back in the day, it’s always been something I’ve always wanted to do even if it was something similar to McGregor’s like one-off just so I could experience the boxing world. But the more he kind of came down, and the more we spoke about it, and the more boxing rounds I did with high-level boxing athletes, then it kind of made me think that I was capable of doing this. I just don’t want to switch over, I want to be able to do both.”
With a little over two months left in the year, Page somehow eyes to get in both a boxing and MMA fight before the year’s end. The unbeaten fighter doesn’t know what sport he’ll be competing in next, but plans to simultaneously have a career in two worlds in order to remain active.
“Obviously, everyone is excited for me to jump back into MMA, and if I can, my aim is to get a boxing fight and another MMA fight in this year, which there’s not much time,” Page said. “Literally, right after Friday, I was training on Saturday and working on my wrestling and jiu-jitsu just getting back in to it. So I’m not sure what exactly is going to happen, nothing has been confirmed.”