Former world title challenger Rico “Suave” Hoye (23-3, 15 KO’s), has officially opted out of retirement after discussing his future with his family and friends. Hoye, the former #1 IBF light heavyweight in the world decided to return to the sport of boxing but this time campaign in the heavyweight division.
Hoye, had a breakthrough year in 2003. Besides cracking the top 10 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO), he won both the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and International Boxing Association (IBA) Americas light heavyweight titles.
Detroit’s top light heavyweight boxer and the International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 1 contender, Hoye won the vacant IBA Continental crown with a 12-round decision over Prince Badi “The Boxing Prince” Ajamu June 5, 2003, on the SHOWTIME boxing series, “ShoBox: The New Generation.”
Four months later on Oct. 11, 2003, Hoye added the NABO belt by scoring a second-round TKO over Etianne Whitaker, in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
After closing out 2003 with an opening-round KO over Marris Virgil on Dec. 12, Hoye opened his fourth pro campaign March 18 on “ShoBox.” The unbeaten Detroit native added the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas light heavyweight titles to his collection with a first-round KO over Donnell Wiggins from Santa Ynez, Calif.
Less than two months later on May 18, 2004, Hoye demolished Richard Hall in the fourth round of their IBF elimination bout on the Roy Jones Jr. – Antonio Tarver undercard.
Born into a long line of fighters, Hoye literally grew up in a gym, as both his father and grandfather fought professionally. “I have been around boxing from the time I was born,” Hoye said. “From what I have been told, I was brought to the gym in my crib or car seat.”
Hoye was fed a study diet of boxing as a child. If he wasn’t at the gym with his father, he would watch a televised fight with his family. As an amateur, Hoye posted an impressive 68-12 record and earned numerous titles. He competed in the Junior Olympics, captured the Golden Gloves tournaments in Toledo, Ohio and Detroit, and was on track to compete for a spot on the 1992 Olympic boxing team.
With all the success and being on top of the world many questioned why Hoye left the sport when he was on top of the world.
Hoye, who retired after dominating fellow contender series contestant Akinyemi Laleye in a February 25, 2009 cruiserweight fight, is scheduled to make “a major announcement” in the upcoming days about his return to the ring. After being inspired by fighters such as Bernard Hopkins, and fellow Detroit native Lanardo Tyner’s late resurgence in the squared circle, Hoye, who turns 39 on Nov.11, has fueled rumors of a return to the ring for the past few months by taking to social media networks about his daily workouts and weight loss.
“I just want to get to the top as fast as I can and fight the best out there today, I did not come back for a payday, everything is great in my life, I miss the sport and I am back on the road to success.”- said Hoye
Deciding to come out of retirement doesn’t come as much of a surprise to many because Hoye, has stayed close to boxing since retiring. He has become a steady fixture in the gyms working as a trainer and today educates the kids about the dangers of the streets.
Hoye’s life story is something any Hollywood film producers would love to develop and bring to the big screen, his life has been filled with ups and downs and he has risen out of adversity more than once. Knockouts, gunshots, and living in a city known for its economic decline, Hoye shocked and defied the odds and became a successful human being.
“Rico is a throwback fighter, honestly he does not care who he fights, and he wants to compete against the best fighters currently out there. I advised him to take a few tune ups fights prior to some real challenges but Rico refused to take easy fights he wants the likes of the Klitschkos, David Haye, and undefeated Robert Helenius. Rico can pose a threat to any of them, he is a awesome skillful slick fighter who can punch.” Said Hoye’s adviser Richard Spilotro
Welterweight contender Lanardo “Pain Server” Tyner also believes Rico can return to the ring and have much success even at the age of 38. “I remember watching Rico in Detroit, he was one of the best we had, I am glad he is returning to boxing, he still has the skills to compete on a world class level” said Tyner.
Promoter Cynthia Tolaymat of CFC Promotions also believes in Hoye’s ability “Honestly, I am hoping to have Rico fight in Chicago before the summer ends, I would love to provide him a chance at reclaiming the #1 ranking in the world” Tolaymat went on to say “Hoye, is someone who you just cannot count out or root against he is a awesome person outside of the ring.”- said Chicago’s only female promoter.
One thing that is clear is that Rico Hoye wants to take notice that he is officially a free agent and looking for all challenges.