Wayne Nelson / Forum News Service, Published April 18 2013
Virgil Hill's focus on son as he readies for one last boutGRAND FORKS – Virgil Hill wouldn’t mind seeing his boxing career end where it started – in Grand Forks.
And the former light heavyweight champion wouldn’t mind seeing his son, Virgil Jr., launch his boxing career in Grand Forks as well.
“I want one more fight to say thank you and farewell,” said Hill.
The 49-year-old, whose electrifying North Dakota fights in the 1980s and 1990s were televised nationally, is still training for his farewell fight – one that could come in Grand Forks, Bismarck or Fargo.
He hopes the bout can take place sometime in August. But his farewell fight also could be tied to the debut of his son’s first professional bout.
Virgil Hill Jr., who recently was released by the St. Louis Cardinals, is training every day in preparation for his pro boxing debut.
“He’s a great kid and a really good athlete,” said Hill of his 23-year-old son. “He trains every day. He’s a beast. I love training him. It’s almost not fair, because what I put him through is a lot different from what others go through. It’s so hard.”
The younger Hill likely will fight in the super middleweight division. Hill, meanwhile, will end his career with a cruiserweight bout.
Hill was in Grand Forks on Wednesday, cutting public service announcements with Fat Cat Productions. At Forks Fighters, Hill outlined the importance of the work done in small North Dakota communities by volunteer fire fighters and emergency medical services personnel.
Before his last fight, however, Hill has another pressing matter.
He’s scheduled to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place June 9 in Canastota, N.Y.
Hill, who won the Olympic silver medal in 1984, hasn’t fought since 2007, but he said he’s in great shape and continues to work out in hopes of landing one final fight.
His career record is 49-7, and Hill has fought some of the biggest names in boxing, among them Thomas Hearns and Roy Jones Jr.
If he does land a farewell fight, his attention afterward will be on his son’s career.
“When one door closes, another opens up,” Hill said.
Nelson is the sports editor for the Grand Forks Herald