TUESDAY, January 24th, 2012, AT 11:10 AM/ PST
IKF "WHERE ARE THEY NOW" Staff
Welcome Kickboxing Legend
There have been many great female kickboxers over the years that have been talked about here on the IKF pages, and many other fight news pages. However, none were as dominant as the one on this page...Lucia Rijker!
Born in Amsterdam on December 7th, 1967, Rijker began training in judo at the age of six. She began kickboxing at age 15, studying in the gym of Johan Vos, one of the most respected training facilities in Holland and training primarily with male kickboxing, boxing and judo champions. She burst into prominence in the kickboxing world in her sixth match on January 15th, 1984 ... disabling veteran American champion Lilly Rodriguez (sister of then world champion kickboxer Benny "The Jet" Urquidez) just 30 seconds into a scheduled five-round fight with powerful kicks to the legs. Rijker gained an international reputation as a kickboxer, fighting in Europe and Japan. She defeated then-world title holder Cheryl Wheeler of the USA by decision in Amsterdam on October 6th 1985 (and is considered responsible for helping to persuade Cheryl to retire, by breaking her nose in that fight!)
She also defeated French champion Nancy Joseph in three rounds, Master Toddy's British star Ann Holmes in 30 seconds in Amsterdam on April 26th, 1986, and the skilled French kickboxer Danielle Rocard in just 15 seconds in Arnhem on February 14th, 1988. Bonnie Canino lasted a full seven rounds against Lucia in a clinch-filled affair but lost the decision, while Valerie Henin was dispatched by her in four rounds in Amsterdam on November 8th, 1987 (though not without a struggle).
Lucia eventually amassed a 36-0 (25 KO) record as a kickboxer, and won four different world titles.
While living in the United States Rijker fought as a professional boxer. 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' in 2004's Oscar-winning, female boxer-based film Million Dollar Baby. She was also 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. She also played a Romulan communications officer in the film Star Trek.
Rijker also auditioned for the role of the female terminator in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and was one of three finalists. She returned to the ring in February 2002, beating Jane Couch (20-4 going in; 25-6 as of December 2004) by decision (8 rounds) on June 21, 2003 for her 16th win. Win number 17 was a ten-round decision over "Sunshine" Fettkether (2000 IKF USA National Tournament Champion) 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 called "Million Dollar Lady". Each woman was guaranteed $250,000, with the winner receiving an extra $750,000; however, on July 20th, it was announced that Rijker had ruptured an Achilles tendon while training for the fight; recovery time was estimated to be 47 months. The match was ultimately cancelled. In 2006 Rijker stated that although not retired as a professional boxer, she would only consider one more fight - a bout with Laila Ali.
During her fighting career, the 5'6" Rijker was known by the press and opponents as "The Most Dangerous Woman in the World". However, her actual ring name was "The Dutch Destroyer". The pure truth is that she may be the world's most dangerous female fighter on a pound-for-pound basis. She has also been referred to as "Queen of Lightning," and "Lady Ali."
By the time Rijker had retired from the fighting ring, "NO ONE" had ever beaten her in her Professional career! NO ONE! As noted above, as a professional Kickboxer she accumulated an overly impressive pro record of 36-0, with 25 of her wins coming by way of KO or TKO, while winning the WKA World title and the ISKA World title.
As a professional boxer training under the world famous boxing coach Freddie Roach, she finished with a pro record of 17-0 with 14 of her wins coming by way of KO or TKO. During her boxing career she won the WIBF Super Lightweight title in her ninth pro fight when she easily defeated Germany's Jeanette Witte by third-round TKO in Los Angeles on November 20th, 1997. The fight was stopped by the referee at 1:25 in the third after a bloodied Witte was knocked down. She won the IBO Women's (WIBO) Junior Welterweight title when she TKO'd Marcela Acuna of Argentina in the fifth round at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT on September 25th, 1998.
On October 24th, 2009 Lucia Rijker became the first female inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
You don't need us to point out to you that Rijker was one of the best Woman Fighters in the world in her day and perhaps ever.
Today Lucia lives in Los Angeles, California, USA and 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. She can speak four languages and is a Buddhist, dedicating time daily to meditation and chanting.
Oh wait, Lucia was not undefeated... Our bad...
She did happen to lose an "Exhibition" bout... In October 1994 she fought a Muay Thai Exhibition kickboxing match against a male opponent... World Champion Somchai Jaidee of New Zealand... OK, for obvious reasons, we don't count that one...
Lucia Rijker can be contacted thru her website at www.LuciaRijker.net
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