REMEMBER WHEN …
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.”