Paul Daley thinks that fellow British welterweight Michael “Venom” Page is overhyped.
The welterweights faced off in February 2019. Page outpointed Daley and sealed the unanimous decision win. “Semtex” believed he was able to stifle Page’s attack, and disagreed with the final fight verdict.
“MVP” recently returned to top form with a dominant win against Giovanni Melillo in the main event of Bellator London. However, this served as proof to Daley that Page’s ability is overrated due to lacklustre opponents.
Daley reflected on their fight and Page’s Melillo win.
“In my mind, I thought I won that fight,” Daley said on the Bellator London broadcast (via Bloody Elbow). “The only way to make it more convincing to everybody else is to take him out before the judges. If that fight is going to happen it needs to be a big fight. It needs to happen here [in London] in 2020, at Wembley in 2020,”
Paul Daley continued to criticize Page after the Bellator card had ended.
“This is ridiculous,” Daley said.
“You can’t continually beat these kinds of opponents. Yes, he knocks them out, but he’s expected to knock them out. What does this prove, the fact that he knocked out a guy nobody will remember? It proves nothing. It proves nothing at all. Why didn’t he do that to me? Why didn’t he do that to Douglas Lima? Because he’s not of that calibre.”
Giovanni Melillo had been fighting in Europe since 2014 but is a relatively unknown fighter in comparison to Michael Page. The Italian fighter made his Bellator debut at the London event, and his current record stands at 13-5. The 34-year old was a last-minute replacement for Derek Anderson who dropped out due to a groin injury. Whilst MVP had no control over Anderson’s withdrawal, the circumstantial factors left fight fans questioning the quality and validity of Page’s skillset.
“I need to see more from Michael Page, in my opinion, whether it’s a rematch with me or a rematch with another top-tier fighter. Does a win over this guy warrant a title shot? In my opinion, it doesn’t,” said Daley.
The welterweight champion Douglas Lima achieved an explosive second-round victory against Page in May 2019. This was the first loss of the British fighter’s professional career. Daley has also fought and lost to the current champ, but Semtex managed to go all three rounds.
“Yes, he’s a star. Yes, people love him. But can he really fight? The two times he’s stepped up, on paper, he’s got a ‘victory’ over me. Most people, including me, thought he lost that fight. The second time he stepped up against the champion, who I went three rounds with, he gets knocked out cold. So he needs to fight solid opponents instead of feeding him these guys.”
While Daley has his sights set on a Lima rematch, he is also open to running it back with Page.
“If they give me the contract, and it’s the right contract (for Michael Page), we don’t need the hype, we don’t need nothing,” Daley said. “Let’s just fight. I know I’m better than him. I know I won the first time, and I can do it again. Do I hate the guy? All animosity? No. I just want to prove I’m better and that he’s not of the calibre that everybody thinks he his.”
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/25/2019.