Amid the whirlwind that is Mayweather-McGregor mania, Michael Page has taken his first official steps toward his expected boxing debut.
Page (12-0), a flashy and exciting contender in the Bellator welterweight division, has inked a deal to join British heavyweight David Haye’s Hayemaker Ringstar promotional stable, as reported by the Irish Examiner. Haye announced the signing Wednesday at a press conference in central London, as well as the signings of Olympic boxer Joe Joyce and English prospect Qais Ashfaq to Hayemaker Ringstar, a joint venture led by Haye and boxing promoter Richard Schaefer.
The move is not a surprising one for Page. Earlier this month, Bellator president Scott Coker revealed that Page had been given permission to box by Bellator while the promotion awaited a tentative 2018 fight date against Paul Daley in London.
“We have a deal with the local promoter over there,” Coker said on The MMA Hour.
“We asked [Page], ‘do you want to kickbox or do you want to box?’ He prefers boxing. He wants to get a couple fights in, probably to get ready for Paul. Paul’s got some good hands. So we said, ‘go ahead and go do that,’ just like we did a deal with (boxing promoter) Lou DiBella (to promote some of his boxers in MMA), right?
“So it’s exactly the opposite. It’s like we’re kind of lending out MVP to go box, and then I told him, I said, ‘MVP, if you want to come kickbox or fight MMA before the end of the year after your boxing, you’re more than welcome to. Or if you want to take a couple boxing fights, go ahead and just get ready for this fight at the beginning of next year.”
Page, 30, is undefeated in professional mixed martial arts competition. A former kickboxing world champion, “MVP” has drawn a cult following for his flashy striking style and divisive in-cage antics. Of his eight Bellator appearances, Page has collected six stoppage victories, including a memorable flying knee knockout of Evangelista Santos that entered the ‘Knockout of the Year’ discussion in 2016.