Oliver Hope wins Junior Olympics championship The top amateur fighters in South Dakota gathered in Pine Ridge in search of the gold in Junior Olympics and Junior World Competition. Winners of weights matched bouts earn a trip to the Regional Junior Olympics and Junior World competition. Oliver Hope of the Vermillion Boxing Team met Sisseton's Tito Gill in the #139 championship bout. Tito, a hard-hitting and quick to strike pugilist, was primed for the fight; however, it wasn't until the third round that he was able to challenge the more experienced Hope. Hope's first rounds included savage attacks with powerful combinations, hooks and jabs stunning his opponent. Dominating his challenger in the early rounds, Hope appearing less aggressive in the third round, settled on effective counter-punching to escape from the onslaught of Gill. In the third round, the Sisseton boxer fiercely attacked Hope looking for the win only to find Hope able to back away and dodge his flurry of punches. The 1999 Junior Olympics State Championship went to Vermillions' Oliver Hope.
The Vermillion Boxing Team's coach, Marc Zimiga, indicated that Hope showed exceptional ability to utilize combinations with power. Zimiga noted that the young boxer has developed an effective hook and rapid counter-punching ability that is becoming characteristic of this young "outside" boxer. Zimiga noted that Hope has earned the advance to the Region #10 finals for Junior Olympics to be held in Montana in early June.