VIRGIL HILL, who today celebrates his 51st birthday, has announced he will return to boxing one last time. The former light-heavyweight and cruiserweight titlist, who last fought in 2007 before being inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 2013, will face Seattle’s Roger Cantrell on February 28 at the Bismark Event Center in Hill’s hometown.
“The fight is about North Dakota,” Hill told The Associated Press. “It’s going to be my last fight. I can’t think of any other way for me to express to the people of North Dakota how honored I am. It’s just a farewell, a goodbye.”
Hill was last in action in a WBA cruiserweight title fight in November 2007, losing via decision. Prior to that, he lost an obscure rematch to Henry Maske – 10 years after outpointing the German in a 175lb unification showdown.
The American, who won his first world title in 1987, is not the first Hall of Famer to return to the ring. Sugar Ray Leonard lost to Hector Camacho in 1997, while Jeff Fenech and Azumah Nelson fought a tottering rubber match in 2008.
Hill’s record stands at 50-7 (23) while his opponent, Cantrell, 15-3 (8), has not won a bout since 2009 and lost to Andre Ward in 2007.