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Associated Press, Published June 11 2013

North Dakota's Virgil Hill inducted into boxing hall of fame

CANASTOTA, N.Y. – Virgil Hill had his big day Sunday.

Hill, a five-time world champion who won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics, was among the inductees into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday.

He defended his light heavyweight title 20 times over his two reigns.

The North Dakota boxer hasn’t fought since 2007.

His career record is 49-7. During his career, Hill fought some of the biggest names in boxing, including Thomas Hearns and Roy Jones Jr.

Arturo Gatti’s daughter left a lasting impact at the ceremony.

Boosted so she could reach the microphone and speak on a most special day for her late father,

7-year-old Sofia Gatti beamed.

“Thank you from my dad,” she said Sunday as Arturo “Thunder” Gatti was.

On a day that included six deceased inductees, Gatti remained fresh on the mind of everybody, especially his longtime manager Pat Lynch.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment for Arturo. This little girl here shall have this memory forever,” said Lynch, who fought back tears when he spoke.

Gatti died at age 37 in Brazil in July 2009. His body was found at an apartment that he had rented with his wife and their infant son in a seaside resort. Police initially held Gatti’s wife as a suspect, but eventually released her and concluded Gatti hung himself from a staircase railing using a handbag strap.

He was selected for the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Other inductees were: two-time light flyweight champion Yuh Myung-woo of South Korea; lightweight Wesley Ramey and middleweight Jeff Smith in the old-timer (posthumous) category; 19th century Irish boxer Joe Coburn in the pioneer category; referee Mills Lane, whose “Let’s get it on” prefight chant endeared him to boxing fans; ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr.; manager Arturo “Cuyo” Hernandez; cartoonist Ted Carroll; and journalist Colin Hart.

Inductees were selected by the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians.