There are just 51 days until Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley and Michael ‘Venom’ Page clash in spectacular fashion on February 16th at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. The fight, whilst over 18 months in the making, is one of the quarterfinal match-ups in Bellator’s welterweight tournament.
It has been a while since details of the beef between the two emerged. Michael ‘Venom’ Page’s dislike of Daley has seen a shift upwards in ‘Semtex’s’ preparation. He’s keen to set the record straight that he has no issues with Page as he tells me, “There’s no beef. The issues all started at his end. I’ve just been cool, sitting back waiting for the fight to happen, for the moment to be right.” Whilst the increase in Instagram and Facebook posts depicting Daley in Thailand and Amsterdam training may seem like a shift by many, Daley maintains that this is merely business as usual.
“It’s what I’ve always done. I’ve just never been so vocal on social media about training. But this has the potential to be such a big fight that I really want try and bring the fans in.”
The match up is being billed as one which will settle scores. It’s the modern day equivalent of Eubank vs Benn. Going into the fight Daley, so it would seem, is going into the clash with clarity of mind on the outcome and not the animosity. Even though Page has been very vocal of his dislike for Daley he is self assured in his own ability to deliver but at the same time respectful of what ‘Venom’ brings to the table.
“His style cannot be replicated. That is unique to him. By style I mean his theatrical performance. But when he punches it is still a punch, when he kicks it’s still a kick. There’s no animosity. No more than usual. I’m about to fight someone, so obviously there’s that, but nothing new.”
One of the recent points raised by Michael ‘Venom’ Page over the last few weeks was that the match up between the two of them could have taken place in the UK had it not been for Daley. Semtex is resolute in pointing out that, “There are a lot of venues in the UK where this fight could of happened, not just London. It’s a shame it’s in the USA, but that’s with the promotion, not me.”
It would seem that Bellator is looking to compensate fans for the fight not taking place in the UK with the announcement of two dates within the reach of fans on this side of the pond. Newcastle and Dublin will kick of the promotion’s plans to keep both fans and fighters awash with events going forward. Newly signed to the roster and already personifying much of Daley’s ethos is Nathan Greyson who, it turns out, recently contacted ‘Semtex’ for help.
“Nathan Greyson shares a similar mindset, in fact he’s contacted me personally to ask advice which I respect a lot. Bellator’s move into Europe is great for Bellator. But still I’d like to see more UK shows.”
Paul Daley’s showdown with Michael Page is fast approaching and will answer the age old question of how ‘Venom’ will fare against a step up in competition. “There’s no beef”, Daley reassures me, continuing he clarifies his point, “This is competition.” Daley concludes by saying, “He’s an exceptional fighter, with a uniquely entertaining style. The time for all the talking is over, it’s fight time. That’s what I bring, a fight.”