Michael Page improves to 2-0 in boxing after second-round KO win

LONDON -- Three weeks after his successful return to the Bellator MMA cage, Michael "Venom" Page once again turned his attention to the boxing ring and put in an easy day's work.

Page, the self-proclaimed "King of Combat," landed a brutal right hand and knocked out Michal Ciach just 18 seconds into the second round of their light heavyweight bout Friday night at York Hall. The fight was promoted by Hayemaker Ringstar, which is run by the recently retired British boxer David Haye.

Page improved his boxing record to 2-0. Friday's match came just three weeks after he stopped David Rickels in the second round at Bellator 200.

"I love combat," Page, who is 13-0 in MMA, told ESPN. "I really enjoy myself, being under the lights, in the ring or the cage, whatever it may be. This was yet another performance where I can express myself and show a different world something new and creative, I hope. I hope they enjoyed it, and trust me, I'm coming back."

A London native, Page made his professional boxing debut last November for Haye's promotion, and it's a partnership that appears to be working out great for both parties.

"He was loving it," Page said, referring to Haye's reaction to Friday's knockout win. "He's buzzing. He said, 'That's exactly the way you wanted to open the show.' We're probably going to end up sitting down soon and think about what's next. I've got to speak to the Bellator guys as well."

After easily defeating Ciach (1-6), Page, who has been criticized for fighting easy opposition, said he's now looking to fight better opponents with winning records so he can improve his ranking as a boxer.

"It's extremely difficult and understandably so," Page said of getting an opponent with a winning record. "I know what an '0' means for boxers or anybody in combat. It means a lot in terms of their next paycheck and the development in their career. Frustratingly so for me, but at the same time I have to take my time, because it's just not that simple. I understand it. Hopefully, I want people to start thinking, 'I can get the better of him,' and take that risk and jump in there."

Page's performance Friday capped an eventful 24 hours for the British fighter, whose name came up when actor Chris Pratt, star of the movie "Avengers: Infinity War," appeared as a guest on Thursday's episode of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." During the show, Pratt shared with Fallon an experience he had with Page while he sat ringside at Bellator 200.

"What a day it has been for Michael Page," Bellator president Scott Coker told ESPN. "First, I wake up to the reference of 'MVP' and his performance at our London event during Jimmy Fallon. Then the guy goes and knocks out his opponent in only his second pro boxing fight."

Coker said Page has his blessing to pursue boxing.

"Michael has made it clear to me that boxing is important to him, so right after Bellator 200 I said, 'Go right ahead.' That being said, I look forward to seeing 'MVP' where he belongs, and that's the Bellator cage very soon."

While Page admits MMA is where he's happiest, he said he is not closing the door on boxing anytime soon and hopes to get back in the ring before the cage.

"I obviously have more tools available to me in MMA because I can be a little bit more creative, so I'd have to say MMA is still my home," Page said. "I'm thinking one more boxing fight in early August and then straight on to an MMA fight in September, November or whenever I can."