Unorthodoxx has been looking at some of the most famous female boxers in our previous posts and we think it is time that we shine the spotlight on ‘The Most Dangerous Woman in the World’, Lucia Rijker. The ‘Queen of Lightening’ is a huge name in boxing, having come into the sport from a lucrative kickboxing career she staked her place with an incredible undefeated boxing record. She faced off against some other big names of her time like Deborah Fettkether and Jane Couch. Rijker was a force to be reckoned with in the ring and was the first licensed female boxer from Amsterdam. She has since retired, giving lectures to athletes, working as a trainer and even having a brief acting career. Truly a woman of many talents, so let’s take a look at this champion of women’s boxing.
Born to be a boxer
Born in 1967 in Amsterdam, Rijker starting her sporting career early. She began learning martial arts at age 6 whilst also pursuing softball and fencing, later becoming the Netherlands junior fencing champion at age 13. She began training in kickboxing when she was 15 at Johan Vas’ gym who was a highly respected trainer in Holland. She mainly sparred with male champions from kickboxing, judo and boxing. Soon after she began kickboxing, she won a fight against the US kickboxing champion Lily Rodriguez. She achieved an incredible 35-1-1 kickboxing record, 25 of those wins being knockouts. Her only loss being to Muay Thai Champion Somchai Jaidee in 1994. She gained international acclaim having won 4 different world titles in kickboxing and then later in 1994 moved to Los Angeles to take on a boxing career. She trained at the Ten Goose Boxing club with Joe Goossen but soon after turning pro began training under Freddie Roach.
Keeping the 0 on her boxing record
Her pro career started in 1996 where she debut in a bout against Melinda Robinson, winning in the first round with a 90 second knockout. Later that year she returned to the Netherlands and tested her skills against Zsuzsanna Szuknai, winning with a first round TKO. A few months later in February 1997 she went up against Irma Verhoef, the WIBF European Champion. Rijker won in the fourth round with a TKO taking the European title. The next few years she fought other rising female boxers like Chevelle Hallback and Andrea DeShong. By 1998 she won the International Boxing Organisation World Female Super Lightweight title in a bout against Marcela Acuna. She won in 5 rounds and took her record to 12-0, 11 wins by knockout, an immense feat of skill.
In 1999, she gained 2 more wins taking her record to 14-0. She then took a break from boxing to work on some acting roles in Hollywood. Her acting career was brief but went on even after she retired from boxing. Rijker achieved notable roles like Billie ‘The Blue Bear’ in the critically acclaimed Million Dollar Baby and a recurring role of Dusty in The L Word.
In 2002 Rijker returned to the ring in a bout against Carla Witherspoon and claiming her 15th consecutive win. She also fought the famous British Boxer Jane Couch in 2003 in an 8 round decision. Her final fight was against Deborah ‘Sunshine’ Fettkether in 2004, which Rijker won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds. Rijker was scheduled to fight Chrisy Martin in a highly anticipated bout. However, whilst training Rijker ruptured her Achilles tendon and had to cancel the fight. Rijker then retired from professional women’s boxing holding a 17-0 undefeated record with 14 wins by knockout.
After her career in women's boxing
Lucia has not fought since 2004 but has remained within women’s boxing as a trainer with fighters like Ronda Rousey. In 2013 she trained Diana Prazak who won the Super Featherweight Championship title from Frida Wallberg, a controversial victory as Wallberg was rushed to hospital after the 8th round knockout. Rijker has also taken to giving empowering lectures to athletes about perseverance and endurance, pushing people to achieve their best. She was also included in the first 2014 class of the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame in Florida. This year she was also one of the first female boxers to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in New York. An appropriate position for someone so successful in her career.
Retiring undefeated and as a female world champion
Lucia Rijker is an incredible boxer who came from a strong kickboxing career and had an extremely successful boxing record, going undefeated 17 times. She gained multiple titles during her time in the ring and is famous for her many knockouts. She has even starred in movies like Million Dollar Baby and Star Trek. She now works to empower women and promote healthy living as well as training the next generation of female boxing legends.
About Unorthodoxx and our womens boxing gloves
Unorthodoxx is the UK’s first Women’s Boxing brand that has been created purely for women and has exclusively designed women’s boxing gloves and women’s boxing clothing. Our products and equipment are designed to offer the ultimate fit, protection and durability for female boxers and combat sports fighters. From novice beginners to elite competition Unorthodoxx fight gear offers the best women’s boxing gloves, clothing and equipment.
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