Kalgoorlie Miner - - SPORT -

Perth boxer Ben Page warded off ad­ver­sity in the tough­est fight of his ca­reer to out­point Gold­fields star Os­car Siale and claim the World Boxing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Asia cruis­er­weight belt on Satur­day night.

Head­lin­ing the in­au­gu­ral Ry­dges Kal­go­or­lie Bat­tle in the Gold­fields, the pair en­gaged in an epic bat­tle over 10 en­ter­tain­ing rounds which left both fight­ers bat­tered and bruised and, in Siale’s case, se­verely blood­ied.

At the fi­nal bell, it was Page who got the nod unan­i­mously on the score­cards, 98-92; 96-94; 96-94.

But Page, who at 23 was in just his fourth pro­fes­sional fight, said it was eas­ily the big­gest test of his ca­reer. “Os­car is very tough and awk­ward and there was one par­tic­u­lar shot which re­ally rat­tled me, ” he said.

“I’d never fought a south­paw be­fore and Os­car is a very ex­pe­ri­enced one.

“He was spoil­ing me, rough­ing me up on the in­side and try­ing to throw me off my rhythm which meant I re­ally had to get back on the jab and move.”

Siale opened the fight land­ing hard punches, with Page’s mouth­guard fly­ing into the crowd in the sec­ond round.

Page was warned for a low blow in round 3, but it jolted him into ac­tion as he fin­ished the round strongly.

By round 5, Siale was bleed­ing heav­ily but he turned in his best work in round 6 when he wob­bled Page be­fore land­ing more sig­nif­i­cant punches af­ter trap­ping him on the ropes. But Page showed a solid chin and in a close fight, had the edge in work rate over the fi­nal four stan­zas.

Af­ter four fights since turn­ing pro­fes­sional in June, Page — who hails from Al­bury-Wodonga — will en­joy a break over Christ­mas be­fore plot­ting his 2015 cam­paign.

“Go­ing the dis­tance and get­ting the ex­pe­ri­ence is no prob­lem with me be­cause th­ese hard rounds go in the bank,” he said. “Th­ese are gen­uine hard rounds be­cause Os­car is a guy who pushed me and con­stantly put the pres­sure on — he wasn’t scared.”

For Siale, a vet­eran of 30 ca­reer fights, in­clud­ing Fox Sports’ 2012 Fight Of The Year, it was the end of the line with the 43-year-old im­me­di­ately an­nounc­ing his retirement.

“Ben’s a great fighter and he de­served it (the win), ” he said.

“I’m happy to say I’ve al­ways done my best and con­trib­uted over the years to Aus­tralian boxing.

“But un­for­tu­nately, this is my last fight.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.