Rijker in 2005
December 6, 1967 |
|Other names||The Dutch Destroyer
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 6 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||63.5 kg (140 lbs)|
|Professional boxing record|
Rijker has been dubbed by the press and opponents "The Most Dangerous Woman in the World".
Rijker started her martial arts career at the early age of six, when she began training in judo. A year later, she was part of the Dutch National Softball Team. At fourteen, after picking up fencing a year earlier, Lucia became the Netherlands Junior Champion of that sport. When she was fifteen she began kickboxing and knocked out the reigning American kickboxing champion, Lily Rodriguez. Rijker eventually amassed a 36-0 (25 KO) record as a kickboxer, and won four different world titles. Her only defeat in a kickboxing ring was in a Muay Thai style exhibition match at Sporthalle Zuid in Amsterdam in October 1994, when she fought male Thai boxer Somchai Jaidee, who knocked her out in the second round. After four different world championship titles she changed her focus to boxing in 1996.
After winning her first 14 fights, but failing to secure a match with Christy Martin, Rijker stepped away from boxing in 1999 to pursue a career in Hollywood. She appeared as Billie 'The Blue Bear' Osterman in 2004's Oscar-winning, female boxer-based film Million Dollar Baby and was featured in the documentary film Shadow Boxers. She played a minor role in Rollerball (2002 film) and had a brief cameo in the season 2 finale of The L Word as Dana's trainer. She returned to The L Word in Season 5 as Dusty, Helena's cellmate in prison. Rijker played a Romulan communications officer in the film Star Trek.
Return to the ring
She returned to the ring in February 2002, beating Jane Couch (20-4 going in; 25-6 as of December 2004) by decision (eight rounds) on June 21, 2003 for her 16th win. Win number 17 was a ten-round decision over "Sunshine" Fettkether on May 20, 2004.
Rijker and Christy Martin were scheduled to fight on July 30, 2005 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Major U.S. promoter Bob Arum (Top Rank Boxing's head) had made their match the main event of a card (with otherwise male boxing matches) called "Million Dollar Lady". Each woman was guaranteed $250,000 (U.S.), with the winner receiving an extra $750,000; however, on July 20, it was announced that she had ruptured an Achilles tendon while training for the fight; recovery time was estimated to be 4–7 months. The match was ultimately cancelled.
Rijker has been on the cover of numerous magazines including Inside Kung Fu. As a professional boxer, she has won the WIBF Welterweight Title, and has beaten name fighters such as Marcela Acuña (5th-round K.O.; Acuña was 0-1 going into the fight, and 19-4 as of June 2005), and Deborah "Sunshine" Fettkether (10th-round decision; Fettkether was 8-4-3 going in).
She remains busy giving lectures and seminars to athletes and people from all walks of life to perform their best, while still maintaining her top physical form and a strict diet.
Rijker once again gained media attention in June 2013, when she worked in the corner of female boxing challenger Diana Prazak in her WBC super featherweight title bout against local champion Frida Wallberg in Stockholm. Wallberg, ahead on all scorecards, had been knocked down twice by Prazak in the eighth round prompting the referee to stop the fight, and after a brief look by ringside doctor, started to collapse in her corner. Rijker immediately realized the seriousness of the situation, and called the doctor back to the ring while herself and Prazak assisted Wallberg. Wallberg had to be carried from the ring on a stretcher to hospital, and underwent surgery with a cerebral hemorrhage. The events sparked controversy about the level of the provided medical attention, and reignited debates about banning boxing in Sweden.
Championships and accomplishments
- 1988-1989 - IWBA Women's Boxing World Champion
- 1985-1994 - WKA Women's Division World Champion
- 1989-1994 - ISKA Women's Division World Champion
- 1997-1998 - European WIBF Boxing Champion
37 wins (25 KOs), 0 losses, 1 draws
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
|Lucia Rijker boxing record|
17 wins (14 (T)KO's), 0 losses
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
- Women's Boxing: LUCIA RIJKER
- Holden, Stephen (2000-05-12). "FILM REVIEW; Gotta Psych Yourself Up To Win at This Game". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- Bernhard, Brendan (1997). "Looking for a Fight". LA Weekly.
- Lessa, Christina (1 October 1998). "Lucia". Stories of triumph: women who win in sport and in life. Universe Pub. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7893-0233-5.
- Klein, Binnie (30 March 2010). Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind. New York: SUNY Press. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-1-4384-3003-4.
- ESPN - Entire card off after Rijker ruptures Achilles tendon - Boxing
- Horgan, Dan (2006-09-05). "Lucia Rijker: Hey Laila, "I’m not officially retired"". www.doghouseboxing.com. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- Lucia Rijker Official Website News Section
- Iole, Kevin (2012). "Mixed Martial Arts - Rousey aims to silence critics". Yahoo Sports.
- Hendin, Josephine (2004). Heartbreakers: Women and Violence in Contemporary Culture and Literature. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-312-23700-4.
- Women's kickboxing results
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lucia Rijker.|
- Official website
- Professional boxing record for Lucia Rijker from BoxRec
- Lucia Rijker at the Internet Movie Database