WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – One of Hawaii's sports hall of famers celebrates his 94th birthday on Wednesday at the gym that has helped train some of Hawaii's greatest boxers.
Friends and family celebrated with Hawaii's well respected boxing coach, Al "Quick" Silva. Silva was inducted into the Hawaii sports hall of fame in 2009 for his community work in Hawaii's boxing scene.
He shared with Hawaii News Now stories of struggle, triumph and joy. Over the span of 70 years, Silva has coached hundreds of kids at the Waipahu gym. Although he admits that he is body is not like what it used to be, he still heads down to the gym to train some of Hawaii's youth during the weekday afternoons the sport that he has held dear to his heart, boxing.
Silva has been known to train boxing champions like Jesus Salud; one of the 100 greatest punchers of all time, Andy Ganigan, and Hawaii's own Brian Viloria as he prepared for the Olympics.
The one fight that Silva says the fondest memories that he has from his entire boxing career is when he found out that he had to fight in the 1945 Army Pacific Championships.
"The most important fight I ever had I think was when I came back from Guadalcanal War and after I came back I didn't train for seven months and the general said that I had to fight in three days..I said what is the matter with you, are you crazy or what?"
Silva took the championship title that year at a 147 pounds.
The one thing that he is grateful for out of all his years of boxing is that none of his fighters has ever gotten into trouble.