SportsLife 2016, Issue 2 - Page 22

The Punisher: A Nickname that Fits Kelly (The Punisher) Page has a great nickname. All fighters need a great nickname. However, far too many fighters have nicknames that don’t make any sense. I knew a guy called “The Real Deal” once who probably should have been called “The Real Punching Bag.” Page is different from that guy. He can fight. He can dish out punishment. Last month in Saskatoon, he pounded the beejeezus out of a Saskatchewan fighter named Matthew Dumais, but ended up with a majority draw. He’s now 1-0-1 but his coach Ken Brown just laughed. “He was robbed,” Brown said. “He beat the snot out of that kid. There was blood everywhere and it wasn’t Kelly’s.” Of course, then there was Page’s first bout as a professional, back on April 30, 2015, during John Vernaus’ High Stakes Havoc at the Club Regent Events Centre, Page beat Dia Grant of Kelowna, B.C. via TKO – with a bodyshot. “It was unbelievable,” said his coach, former Olympian, Kent Brown. “He hit the guy with a body-shot and knocked him to the canvas. The guy was out. With a body-shot. That’s the kind of punch Kelly has.” It was quite an auspicious debut for the 28-year-old Winnipeg middleweight who grew up in Elmwood and went to Gordon Bell High School. Oh yeah, did I forget to point out that his body-shot TKO took place in his first professional fight? “Yeah, that was my first pro fight,” Page said with a wide smile. “I had about 90 amateur fights in 12 years. In Punishment from the punisher 22 / sportslife fact, I filled up a Blue Book, which has about 100 weigh-ins in it, but I didn’t get to fight all of them, so in the end, I think I had 90-plus fights.” There was little doubt that Page was prepared for his first professional fight. “Since the first day I was in the gym, that’s what I wanted to do. I took the advice I got from people around me to wait a bit, so that’s what I decided I’d do. I was thinking about trying to get a position on the National Team to go to the Olympics, but that didn’t happen for me. “But I had the experience and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste. I’m 28, which some people might think is a little bit older, but in boxing it’s not your age so much as your fitness and the number of fights you’ve been in. Sure, maybe if I was 35, I’d be over the edge, but right now, at 28, I think I have a good 10 y X\