ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Virgil Hill scores second-round TKO

BISMARCK - It was a long time in coming, but for one night, it was just like old times for Virgil Hill. The Hall of Fame, four-time world champion boxer returned to the site of so many of his memorable fightsm and while the Bismarck Event Center ...

BISMARCK – It was a long time in coming, but for one night, it was just like old times for Virgil Hill.
The Hall of Fame, four-time world champion boxer returned to the site of so many of his memorable fightsm and while the Bismarck Event Center has a new name, the excitement and energy in the building harkened back to so many of his big bouts at the Civic Center over the years.
Hill always wanted to wrap up his career with one more fight in Bismarck, the site of so many of his big victories. And after a year in training to get ready, the 51-year old former champion took the ring for his ‘One Last Stand’ on Saturday night.
Hill made the most of his return to the ring, capping his career with a second-round TKO of Jimmy “The British Assassin” Campbell.
“It was everything I expected and more,” Hill said. “It’s the best thing that any one person could ever expect to have in his life. I was lucky enough to experience this kind of crowd every time I fought back here.
“I’m so happy, so blessed to be able to end it with my last fight here in Bismarck.”
With former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, a former roomate and fellow 1984 U.S. Olympic medalist on hand as a special guest, Hill climbed through the ropes at the Event Center to take on Jimmy “The British Assassin” Campbell in an eight-round bout.
For Hill, it was a chance to finish his career in front of his home state fans, in the arena where he was undefeated as a professional.
The night was a testament to Hill’s career, featuring video clips of past fights and inteviews interspersed throughout the undercard.
Hill made a grand enterance, with his tradenark black Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill robe, the headdress and North Dakota flags, to the strains of ‘The Final Countodwn’ and loud cheers from the approximately 4,000 fans on hand to see him fight one more time.
Hill showed his trademark quick jab, twice in the staggering Campbell and sending him to a knee in the second round.
“I didn’t know what to expect because I don’t watch film on the guys I fight,” Hill said. “He came out a little leery and I was able to establish my jab right off the bat. I hit him a few hard shots and he blinked a little bit. He went downstairs to drop his hands a bit and I hit him with a couple body shots.”
Campbell came into the fight with a career record of 11-7, and eight knockouts.
A technical knockout at 2:00 of the second round was a fitting cap to a Hall of Fame career and sent the Event Center crowd into a frenzy.
After the fight was over, Hill was joined in the ring by his family and he thanked his family, friends and supporters. An emotional Hill soaked in the moment, and declared, “This is better than the Hall of Fame.”
The night was a success for Hill, who said he felt young again.
“I forgot how nervous a person gets. It gave me a little anxiety,” he said. “I going, I trained really hard for this. I’ve never felt this before but it was all wonderful. But it’s time to be done.”
Hill wasn’t the only local boxer climbing into the ring one more time. Mandan’s Tocker Pudwill, with a career record og 40-7 with 14 knockouts, squared off with Bruce “The Rage” Rumbolz. The Sterling, Ill., boxer came in with a 22-29 record with 15 knockouts.
Pudwill struck early, with a first-round knockdown and with the crown chanting his first name, he kept the pressure on Rumbolz in the second round. He stayed aggressive an pressed the issue until the final bell of the round.
Pudwill kept up the attack through rounds three and four, with Rumbolz on the defensive. The same pattern held through the fifth roud, and Rumbloz stumbled a bit heading to his corner after the bell.
The Mandan native really put the pressure on in the sixth round as Rumbolz retreated to the ropes time and again and Pudwill kept landing blows.
In he end, Pudwill’s “One Mo Tyme” was a rousing suceess, with a 60-53, 60-53, 60-53 unanimous decision.
Ronald “El Diablo” Cruz came into the event with a perfect 2-0 reord, with both wins coming by first-round knockout. Things were a litle more difficult for the Hollywood, Calif., boxer in North Dakota.
Tangling with Ryan Soft of McLaughlin, S.D., both fighters had their hands full in a six-round boyt marked by drbrtsl furious flurries amd big blows.
In the end, it was a unanimous decision in favor of Soft, with the judges scoring it 59-54, 58-55, 57-56.
Catlyn “The Lion” Little Eagle of McLaughlin, S.D., posted a unanimous decision over former NDSU football player Tomy “The Sting” Ray in an entertaining, back and forth battle that went four rounds. The judges scored it 39-37, 38-36, 40-36
Lyle Krueger of Grand Forks earned his first win in three professional fights with a third-round technical knockout of Williston’s 57-year old Mike “The Hammer” Palmer.

What To Read Next
The North Dakota High School Activities Association voted to implement three classes of basketball for the 2023-24 school year.
Regional and local scores and schedules.
In an 8-2 vote, the North Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors approved implementation of the plan for the 2023-24 school year
Hot Mic with Dom Izzo from Wednesday, February 8th, 2023.