Ex-heavyweight champ agrees to settle suit

Updated: May 4, 2007, 4:53 PM ET
Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Former heavyweight champion Greg Page has agreed to settle a lawsuit that he filed against Kentucky boxing officials for $1.2 million after he had career-ending injuries in a 2001 fight in northern Kentucky.

Page suffered severe head trauma after being knocked down in the 10th round of a fight against Dale Crowe. He went into a coma and suffered a stroke during post-fight surgery, leaving him paralyzed on his left side, physically frail and prone to pneumonia.

"It's not a lot of money, but it will make Greg's life a little more comfortable," said his wife, Patricia Page.

The lawsuit, filed in 2002, charged that boxing officials had neither an ambulance nor medical personnel at the fight.

Considering that he was hospitalized four times last year and twice so far this year, Patricia Page said it's not a big settlement for the couple, who live in a three-bedroom house in south Louisville.

However, she said the suit, which was scheduled to go to trial later this month, would have likely been caught up in appeals for years even if a jury had sided with her husband.

"At least it's a done deal, and it's guaranteed," she said. "We're just glad it's over."

Page had a short-lived term as the WBA heavyweight champion in 1984 when he knocked out Gerrie Coetzee in the eighth round of their match in South Africa. In his first defense, Page lost on points to Tony Tubbs.

Under the settlement, the state agreed to support a move to call changes in Kentucky's boxing regulations the "Greg Page Boxing Safety Initiative."

State boxing officials also agreed to establish a medical review panel for the Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority to check the health conditions of people involved in the sports who may be at risk of injury.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press