North Dakota native and world champion boxer Virgil Hill announced Thursday that he is planning one last “send off” fight to be held in the state.
Hill was at the Capitol on Thursday to receive gifts from the governor and the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, and to announce the fight.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple presented Hill with a state license plate, personalized with “LUV ND” and signed by the governor. Hill also was given a bronze statue of three running, wild horses by the NDIAC to represent the united tribes in the state.
In return, Hill signed a pair of boxing gloves for Dalrymple to hang in his office.
Scott Davis, NDIAC director, called Hill “a true son of North Dakota.”
Hill grew up in Grand Forks and Williston and fought a number of his major bouts in North Dakota.
“I’ve been a Virgil Hill fan for my whole life, like most North Dakotans,” Dalrymple said at the press conference.
In November, Hill, 49, was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for the class of 2013. Hill won the World Boxing Association light heavyweight championship twice, defended the title 20 times and took home a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics.
“I cherish every moment I’ve had in boxing,” Hill said at the press conference.
Hill announced he wanted to “say thanks to North Dakota” through the fight.
The details are still being decided, but it is likely the fight will take place in May.
Hill has been training for more than a year for the fight.
“I believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to,” Hill said, “and I think that comes from North Dakota, growing up here.”
The desired opponent is Bernard Hopkins, 48, the oldest boxer to ever become World Boxing Council light heavyweight champion, at 46.
Hill spent time in Belcourt and New Town schools talking to students on Wednesday and will be touring other schools Friday.