by David P. Greisman
Virgil Hill Jr. the son and namesake of the Hall of Fame fighter will begin his own pro boxing career this Friday in North Dakota, according to the Minot Daily News.
The younger Hill, who will soon turn 24, will apparently fight as a super middleweight. His opponent is Brent Moorehead, whose record is not listed in the article or on BoxRec.com. The bout will take place at the 4Bears Casino and Lodge in New Town.
Hill Jr. was a four-sport athlete in high school, was drafted by two different Major League Baseball teams and was released by a single-A ball club before this years season began, according to the newspaper. He struggled to stay above the Mendoza Line last year, batting just .204 in 46 games for the Iowa-based Quad Cities River Bandits, according to Baseball-Reference.com. The outfielder had 32 hits, four home runs and 22 runs batted in.
He took up boxing earlier this year.
The elder Hill had 10 defenses of a light heavyweight title during his first reign and another 10 defenses in the division during his second reign, including a very brief period in which he was seen as the legitimate, lineal champion. Later on in his career, he twice held a cruiserweight belt. He retired with a record of 50-7 (23 knockouts).
Hill Sr. was voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame last year and officially inducted into Canastota in June.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org