Ex-heavyweight champ Page dies at 50

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Greg Page, a former heavyweight boxing champion who suffered a severe brain injury in a 2001 fight, has died at his Louisville home. He was 50.

His wife, Patricia Page, said she found the one-time World Boxing Association champion in his bed Monday morning. Patricia Page said he died of complications related to injuries he suffered in the fight.

Page told The Associated Press her husband "is in a better place now."

The March 9, 2001, fight left Page in a coma for nearly a week. He then had a stroke during post-fight surgery. He was paralyzed on his left side and received intensive physical therapy.

Page won a $1.2 million settlement in 2007 with Kentucky boxing officials over the lack of medical personnel at the fight. 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 sport who may be at risk for injury.

Page started fighting while growing up in Louisville and was sparring with Muhammad Ali by the time he was 15. He became the National Golden Gloves heavyweight champion in 1978 at age 20.

He turned to professional boxing and lost his first shot at the WBA heavyweight championship in 1984 to Tim Witherspoon. In December of that year, Page knocked out Gerrie Coetzee in the eighth round of their bout in South Africa to claim the title, but lost on points to Tony Tubbs five months later.

Page continued boxing through 1993, then took two years off after being knocked out by Bruce Seldon. He started again in 1996.

Page was 42 and had a 58-16-1 career record going into the $1,500 fight against Dale Crowe at Peels Palace in Erlanger, Ky., near Cincinnati. Crowe was 24 and an up-and-coming boxer. Page went down after 10 rounds and didn't get up.

Patricia Page said Monday that funeral arrangements were pending.