Port Arthur boxing legend inducted into Museum of the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame

One of Port Arthur's most successful professional athletes is now forever enshrined in the halls of history.

Boxing champ Wilford Scypion was inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast Sports Legends Hall of Fame at a special ceremony Saturday.

Unfortunately Scypion himself couldn't be at the ceremony. He passed away in February at the age of 55 after suffering complications with pneumonia. But his induction Saturday coincided with a Scypion family reunion, and there wasn't nearly enough chairs for everyone who attended.

It was a display fit for a champ. His glistening blue robe above a pair of his boxing gloves, memorabilia that will soon be alongside those of other great Southeast Texas fighters.

 "He was the pride of Port Arthur. No matter what he had to overcome in life, he was a great person in and out of the ring," said Scypion's oldest son Wilford D. Scypion, Sr.

Known as "The Scorpion" to his opponents and "Poppee" to his family, Scypion won the National Golden Gloves Middleweight Championship in New York City in 1978. He went on to have a career 32-9 record with 24 of those decisions being knockouts.

In 1983 he faced "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler for the World Middleweight Championship, lasting almost four full rounds before being knocked out. He retired in 1991.

His three sons were given a special certificate in honor of their father's accomplishments.

"I'm grateful that they actually recognized his talents and skills," said Scypion's youngest son Jedrek.

"We appreciate it, we're thankful as a family, we're enjoying it, and it's a great way to give back, you know to get a champ back to his city," said the middle son, Wilford Scypion, Jr.
Perhaps the most emotional person in the crowd was Scypion's youngest brother Edwin "Flip" Wiltz, the one who nominated Scypion for induction.

"To watch your brother grow up with you in the house, to accomplish that, it's very very special," said Wiltz with tears in his eyes.

"Everyone's brother or sister or whoever doesn't turn out to have the magnitude that Poppee had, so it's just a blessing really. It's heart touching… it's just too bad he wasn't here to see it," said Wiltz.


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