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Virgil Hill returns to North Dakota for Dickinson boxing event – The Dickinson Press

DICKINSON – Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill, the five-time world boxing champion and Olympic silver medalist who achieved notable success in the light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions, will be the guest of honor at the upcoming Final Bell Boxing event on June 1.

Hill, a famous boxer from North Dakota, won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and turned professional the same year. He won the WBA light heavyweight title in 1987 and defended it ten times until 1991.

Hill regained the title in 1992 and moved up to cruiserweight in 1996, where he won the WBA title. He competed successfully until his retirement in 2007 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013.

The former boxer spoke about the importance of being invited to the event, saying, “Every time someone from North Dakota invites me to a boxing match, I am extremely proud and think it's great that they are trying to bring boxing to the state.”

The last time the retired boxer was in the Peace Garden State, he was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award in October 2023.

Hill considers himself fortunate to have had the entire state behind him during his career. “I was very lucky. It's rare to have 750,000 people following you. That was all of North Dakota when I was boxing,” he said, firmly believing that this kind of statewide support is still possible for kids pursuing a career in any sport.

“In general, I don't have to say work harder because the kids in North Dakota work hard no matter what sport they're in,” Hill said. “Just running outside in the winter against the snow and cold is a big accomplishment in itself. But they have to set goals, be steadfast and believe in the process that's necessary. And that's it. If you do that, you'll achieve your goals.”

The Final Bell promotes an upcoming boxing event here in Dickinson. From left: Diandre Aroni, Faviola Alvarez, Jael Garcia.

Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Faviola Alvarez, the driving force behind the event, hopes Hill's participation will attract his long-time supporters and inspire a new generation of fans. “We're thrilled he's coming and it's all coming together. The boxing community is incredibly important and this will definitely be a huge inspiration for the younger generation.”

Alvarez contacted Hill and after a tense wait, he confirmed his participation. “When he finally agreed, we were overjoyed,” she said.

As the event approaches, Alvarez and her team are filled with anticipation. “We are ready; now it's up to the community to show up. Even if the turnout is low, we will be proud of what we have accomplished,” she explained.

Alvarez extended an open invitation: “Even if you are not familiar with the sport, come along to support local sportsmanship and learn about boxing. Everyone is welcome.”

Hill hopes that North Dakota will host more events like this to encourage residents to believe in their potential. “North Dakota residents should not think they are 'too small to do great things,'” he said.

He added that the best way to pave the way for the youngsters is to actively support them and called for statewide support: “I hope that everyone in the state comes out to support these kids. It's so important to have them. Support them and help them because it's an uphill battle. Without support, it will be even harder. But it can be done. I am proof of that.”

EVENT DETAILS AND LOGISTICS

The final Bell Boxing event will be held at the West River Ice Center, 1865 Empired Road, Dickinson, ND 58601.

Tickets are $15 and available at the door. Children under 10 are free.

Doors open at 5pm, main events start at 6pm.

Fabiola Alvarez is the organizer of the event and has been instrumental in its realization. For more information, please contact thefinalbellpromotions@gmail.com.

The official responsible for overseeing the event is Hipolito Pruneda, who will ensure that all fights are conducted fairly and safely and that USA Boxing's strict guidelines are followed.

Manuel Holguin JR

Manny is a journalist with a diverse background in communications. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, he graduated from the Dallas, Texas area before moving to New York City. There he worked as an ethnic media reporter, covering local issues and immigration news. Manny's journalism career has long been dedicated to sensitive reporting and has led him to Dickinson, where he takes on the role of hard news reporter.

Anna Harden

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