Published: July 11, 2004
Dear Honorable Governor Fletcher and Mayor Abramson:
The Retired Boxers Foundation is a small nonprofit organization founded by retired professional boxer, Alex “The Bronx Bomber” Ramos for the purpose of assisting retired professional boxers in the transition from their glorious days in the ring to a dignified retirement. Part of our mission is also to educate the public about the sport of boxing and advocating for safety and integrity in the sport. We have an impressive coalition of boxing experts, including a Medical Advisory Board with internationally recognized neurologist, neurosurgeons, neuro-psychiatrists and neuro-behavorists who assist our organization and the athletes who are now retired professional boxers.
With all due respect, we feel we must educate the two of you about the condition of boxing in the State of Kentucky and the fact that your admonishment of Mike Tyson is looking more like the pot calling the kettle black. Mike Tyson has made mistakes and he has served his time. Kentucky, on the other hand, has yet to admit to what many in boxing would call their own “criminal acts.” Kentucky Champion boxer, Greg Page is sitting in a wheelchair, completely disabled, because of some faux pas made by your State Boxing Commission. Some would say that
the State of Kentucky was guilty of complete and utter lack of oversight when Greg Page, age 42 at the time, fought Dale Crowe, 24, at Peel’s Palace in Erlanger Kentucky on March 9, 2001.
The following details were widely reported and, even if you were elected for your first terms, as long-time residents of the State of Kentucky, it is unfathomable that you might have missed it:
* At Peel’s Palace in Erlanger, Kentucky, on March 9, 2001, Greg Page, 42, of Louisville, and Dale Crowe, 24, of Alexandria, Kentucky fought 10 hard rounds before the fight was stopped when Greg Page went down due to an apparent shove by Dale Crowe
* Page’s head landed on the bottom rope of the ring, while(according to his wife, Patricia Page) he began foaming around the mouth and was clearly dazed. He remained there for a full nine minutes while ring officials stepped over his legs and proceeded to make the ring announcement declaring Dale Crowe the winner.
* There was no oxygen available at ringside, even though your regulations require one, and no emergency medical technicians. Even though there was a stretcher and a blanket, there was no one to carry it out and no ambulance on sight. One of Page’s friends, a Louisville police detective named Jonathan Bryant, had to go find the ringside physician and bring him to ringside for Page to receive any kind of attention, a process that took several minutes. It also took nine minutes for a call to be placed to the 911 emergency line.
* The doctor – Dr. Manuel Mediodia – was not near the ring when Page went down, and had to be found elsewhere in the building. Greg Page nearly died because the ringside physician, Dr. Mediodia, was NOT licensed to practice medicine in Kentucky and in fact, his license had been suspended twice in Ohio. He was not trained as a ringside physician and told reporters he learned what he needed “by reading the USA boxing handbook.”
* Nancy Black, executive director of the Kentucky Athletic Commission, which regulates boxing in the Commonwealth, said ambulances don’t have to be at fights. This, in spite of the fact that the Muhammad Ali Boxing Safety Act requires it. Nancy Black admitted that she had never been to a boxing match and was unfamiliar with what happens ringside.
* Four of seven members of the Kentucky Athletic Commission attended: Jack Kerns, chairman; Emmitt Igo, Tim Gonterman and Fred Burch, and obviously, all four of them observed Greg Page go down and remain, head suspended, on the bottom rope for over twenty minutes before an ambulance took him away–first to the wrong hospital which was not equipped for severe head injuries.
* Greg Page suffered in a coma for months due to strokes following the fight. Page is currently relegated to a wheelchair and is completely disabled.
* Since there were no insurance provisions required, the Kentucky commission is taking the position that they have no responsibility whatsoever for the well-being of Greg Page. Obviously, the State of Kentucky is going to wait for an impending lawsuit to be settled and then we hope they can find it in their heart to apologize to Greg Page for allowing such poor oversight and concern for boxer safety to have changed Greg’s life forever.
We implore you to read a series of articles that are well researched and fully documented by Charles Jay, an advocate and friend of the Retired Boxers Foundation, in a series of articles called “Operation Clean-up.” All of these articles are posted at the International Brotherhood of Prizefighters
In defense of boxing and certainly in defense of Mike Tyson, we feel we have a moral obligation to inform you of the transgressions that remain in litigation at the present time. Contrary to what the media focuses on in defining Mike Tyson, he is a man who has made amends and served his time. He is trying to make a living in his trade and take care of his family. If he meets your licensing requirements, it seems absurd for anyone–high level elected officials included–to make moral
judgments on this man’s worthiness to fight in Kentucky, especially in light of the transgressions of your State Boxing Commission just a couple of years ago. We will forgive you (Kentucky) if you will forgive Mike. Greg Page and his family may not be so willing to let bygones be bygones, but, on the other hand, they have forgiven Mike and even baked him a birthday cake when he appeared at the Louisville Press Conference.
Alex “The Bronx Bomber” Ramos
Founder and President
RETIRED BOXERS FOUNDATION
3359 Bryan Avenue
Simi Valley, CA 93063