BOXING: Hill Jr. knocks out Hajicek
During Virgil Hill Jr.'s first fight in Grand Forks, he said the next step in his boxing career is finishing fights when he has an opponent on the ropes.
During Virgil Hill Jr.’s first fight in Grand Forks, he said the next step in his boxing career is finishing fights when he has an opponent on the ropes.
He did that Friday night.
Hill Jr. knocked out 41-year-old Butch Hajicek in the third round with a right cross at Purpur Arena to maintain a perfect record in his young boxing career.
Hill Jr. is now 5-0 after winning the super middleweight bout. This was the second knockout of his career.
“I felt really good,” Hill Jr. said. “First and foremost, I want to thank Butch for fighting me. He’s a hell of a warrior. Anybody that’s 41 years old and still puts the gloves on is an unbelievable athlete. But as far as tonight, it felt really good to get a win. I just stuck to the game plan and came out on top.”
With his Boxing Hall of Fame father, Virgil Sr., in his corner, the 25-year-old Hill Jr. wasted no time taking command of the fight.
He knocked Hajicek to the ground twice in the first round, but Hajicek got up both times and continued to fight. Hajicek had trouble landing any punches himself against the younger, quicker Hill Jr., who was a professional baseball player in the St. Louis Cardinals organization just three years ago.
In the third round, Hill Jr. came out aggressively again and caught Hajicek with a right hook, knocking him to the ground. Hajicek called off the fight and the boxers embraced in the center of the ring.
“It’s always good to get a knockout and finish,” Hill Jr. said. “My first few fights, that was my thing: I’d go the whole six rounds. It’s good to finish a fight. I just came out on top and the cards fell right into place.”
Hill Jr., whose parents serve as his management team, said he’s unsure what’s next.
“I’ll go back to my dad and see wherever he wants me to fight,” Hill Jr. said. “I just do what I’m told. I’ll go back to the gym and go back to work.”
Hill Jr. said he does see some improvement in his boxing from last year.
“I like to think so,” he said. “That’s my goal, to always get better. I know I still have a long way to go. So, I’ll head back to the gym and work and get myself prepared for the next one.”