New Jersey (Fri, November 24, 2017) – The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of its sixth class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This class will be honored at the sixth dinner gala to be held at The Event Center in iPlay America in Freehold, NJ on December 1, 2017.
On December 1st, Virgil Hill will be inducted as Boxer.
Virgil Eugene Hill was born January 18, 1964 he is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2007, and in 2015. He is a two-weight world champion, having held the WBA light heavyweight title twice, from 1987 to 1997; the IBF and lineal light heavyweight titles from 1996 to 1997; and the WBA cruiserweight title twice, from 2000 to 2002 and 2006 to 2007. As an amateur, Hill won a silver medal in the middleweightdivision at the 1984 Summer Olympics. In 2013, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
In September 1987, after going eighteen straight fights without a loss to start his pro career, Hill aka ‘Quicksilver’ (his nickname) was a challenger to Leslie Stewart of Trinidad for the latter’s World Boxing Association light-heavyweight title in Atlantic City. After an even match in the early going, Hill floored the defending title holder twice in the fourth round – first with a left hook and the second time with an uppercut – to take the title on a Knockout win.
A series of ten successful defenses followed, eight of which took place in Bismarck, North Dakota. Hill received offers to fight in Las Vegas and other cities, but chose the place of his ‘roots’ and ‘hometown fans’ to be the place of the majority of his defenses. Opponents in his first run as champion included Bobby Czyz and James Kinchen. Superstar Thomas Hearns would meet – and defeat – Hill in Las Vegas by decision in June 1991 to end Hill’s first reign as champion.
In September 1992, it was Hill pitted against 1984 Olympic teammate Frank Tate for the vacant WBA 175-lb. title. It was a ‘grudge match’ between the two, and Hill won the title on his home turf of Bismarck. Another string of ten defenses would follow, including a rematch with Tate, a close decision over Lou Del Valle who almost upset Hill.
In November 1996 at the Olympiahalle, Munich, Hill won over the undefeated IBF champion Henry Maske to unify the WBA/IBF belts and win the vacant Lineal championship. In June 1997, WBO champion Dariusz Michalczewski scored a unanimous decision over Hill to unify the WBA, IBF, WBO and Lineal light-heavyweight titles at Arena Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany.
Hill boxed against Roy Jones Jr. the following year, and was stopped in round four with a body shot.
On January 27, 2006 Virgil Hill won over previously undefeated Russian cruiserweight Valery Brudovby unanimous decision to win the ‘regular’ WBA cruiserweight title, as the WBA had now created a WBA “Super” title beside the standard WBA title. Despite being cut on the face in the sixth round, Hill was able to out hustle and out work his much younger opponent to capture his fifth world title at the age of 42.
He had his next to last fight in Germany on March 31, 2007, facing Henry Maske, whom he had beaten in 1996. Maske had announced his retirement prior to that fight and was frustrated to end his career with a split-decision loss, the only loss in his professional career. When he heard about Hill capturing the world title again at the age of 42, he decided to challenge him for a rematch. Hill lost the Maske rematch by decision in a non-title bout, then lost to Firat Arslan by decision to lose his WBA cruiserweight title.
He retired with a record of 50 wins (23 KOs) and 7 losses.
We hope you will join us on December 1, 2017. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of New Jersey martial arts history. Call201-538-4843 or visit www.njmmaawards.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts. It is certain to be a terrific night with family, friends, fun, and music.
Here is the complete list of award winners:
2017 Sixth Class Inductee Awards
MMA Fighter – Jimmie Rivera
Grappler – Gary Tonon
Coach – Karel Pravec
Trainer – Paul Carnicella
Female fighter – Kaitlyn Chookagain
Fighter / Referee – Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro
Fighter / Trainer – Jamal Patterson
Wrestling – Mike Malinconico
Boxing – Jackie Atkins
Trainer – Ronnie Schulmann
Lifetime Achievement Award – Billy Scott
Promoter – Kurt Otto
Announcer – Nino Del Buono
Boxer – Virgil Hill
Ringside physician – Dr. Eric Wurmser
NJSACB Official – Henry Krawiec
Promoter – Kipp Kollar
Physician – Dr. Robert Haley
Media – Mike Straka
Muay Thai Fighter / Trainer – Rami Ibrahim