|Is the Hall of Fame on Hold for Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill? - Interview
INTERVIEW By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (Oct 15, 2008) DoghouseBoxing.com
Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill has so many accomplishments in the sport of boxing that it is not easy to know where to start. He had a 288-11 amateur record which included defeating Vincent Boulware and Michael Nunn in the trials. In the 1984 Olympics he won a silver medal losing on a disputed decision to Shin Joon-Sup of South Korea. In his 19th professional fight he won the WBA light heavyweight title from Leslie Stewart (24-1) in September of 1987. He won his first 30 professional bouts, including 10 title defenses. He lost his first fight to Hall of Fame boxer Thomas “Hitman” Hearns (49-3-1) in
1991. In September of 1992 he would regain his WBA title defeating Frank Tate, a teammate from the 1984 Olympic team.
Hill would win 13 straight including a rematch win over Tate. His 13th win was adding the IBF title defeating the 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist and IBF champ Henry Maske (30-0) in Germany. Hill would try to add the WBO title in a losing effort to Dariusz Michalczewski (33-0) in Germany. A loss to Roy Jones (35-1) followed in 1998. In 2000 Hill would win the WBA cruiserweight title stopping Frenchman Fabrice Tiozzo (42-1) in the 1st round in France. This was a rematch of their 1993 title match in which Hill put the only other loss on Tiozzo’s record.
Hill would lose his title to Jean-Marc Mormeck (26-2) in France in 2002 following a 14 month layoff. It took Hill more than 2 years to gain a rematch with Mormeck. This time he would travel to South Africa. Those at ringside reported the referee did not count a knockdown scored by Hill. This would have given him the win instead of a 1 and 2 point loss on the judges’ cards. Hill would regain the title after a 20 month lay-off defeating Valery Brudov (30-0) for the vacant title in Atlantic City in January of 2006. His then trainer Emmanuel Steward remarked after the fight “he seems to be ageless”.
Following a 14 month layoff Hill would be re-matched with Maske (30-1) who was coming off a 10 year lay-off. The WBA cruiserweight title was not at stake. In March of 2007 Hill would lose the decision in Germany. Maske was not interested in a rubber match. Before the year was out Hill traveled back to Germany losing his WBA title to Germany’s Firat Arslan (27-3-1) by decision.
I had the pleasure of first meeting Hill back in 1989 while in training at Fountain Hills, Arizona. It would be some 18 years later when I saw him at a show in Dickson City, Pennsylvania. His beautiful wife Carla was with him. Most recently we met the end of May while he was helping out a friend, Greg Azar, of Rising Star Promotions.
Ken Hissner: What would bring you back one more time putting your Hall of Fame induction on hold?
Virgil Hill: A rematch with Michalczewski or Maske.
KH: I had been talking with you in Atlantic City at the Cotto fight about your last opponent Arslan. Darnell “Ding-A-Ling” Wilson was to be his opponent. I got in touch with his trainer Charles Mooney (from the 1976 Olympic team) to call you.
VH: I never heard from him. I think I could have helped him prepare for that fight.
Arslan was very strong. He was able to land mostly with his uppercuts.
KH: I can’t help but to ask you about your legendary trainer Eddie Futch.
VH: I was truly blessed at such a young age to be under the tutelage of Eddie.
KH: I remember you winning the WBA light heavyweight title over Leslie Stewart. You were asked “what did you do special in preparing for this fight?”
VH: If I remember correctly, I said it may not be the most popular thing to say, but I prayed a lot. He underestimated me. He thought I was just a kid until I knocked him out.
KH: I first met you in 1989 in Arizona when you were preparing for the James “The Heat” Kinchen (46-6-2) fight. Freddie Roach was with you. Eddie had broken his leg in a car accident coming to the camp in Fountain Hills.
VH: Fortunately I had Freddie there when Eddie got hurt.
KH: In your 31st fight you suffer your 1st loss to Hall of Fame boxer Thomas “Hitman” Hearns. How tough of a defeat was that?
VH: I thought I won. The first defeat is always the toughest.
KH: Who would you say was the best fighter you ever fought?
VH: I’d have to say Roy Jones. He broke my rib and I could hardly catch my breath. (Hill was hospitalized for that broken rib.)
Hill is now 44 and has lost 3 of his last 4 fights. Like Jones and Bernard Hopkins, he has been finishing his career based on his name and pay days. Since losing his last fight in November of 2007 he has yet to make an announcement about his future. Prior to his last fight he was quoted saying “I want one more fight. I want a big fight. Win, lose or draw, I retire right after that. But I want to be able to do it on my terms.” Until he comes to those terms, the Hall of Fame is on hold!
e-mail Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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