Bep van Klaveren

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Bep van Klaveren

Bep van Klaveren 1935d.jpg

Bep van Klaveren in Australia in 1935
Personal information
Full name Lambertus van Klaveren
Nickname(s) The Dutch Windmill
NationalityFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Born(1907-09-26)26 September 1907
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Died 12 February 1992(1992-02-12) (aged 84)
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 57 kg (126 lb)
Sport Boxing
Rated at Featherweight
Club Schilperoord, Rotterdam

Lambertus "Bep" van Klaveren (26 September 1907 – 12 February 1992) was a Dutch boxer, who won the gold medal in the featherweight division at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. Van Klaveren remains the only Dutch boxer to have won an Olympic gold medal. His younger brother Piet competed as a boxer at the 1952 Summer Olympics. [1]

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Boxing combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

Featherweight is a weight class in the combat sports of boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and Greco-Roman wrestling.


Born in Rotterdam as Lambertus Steenhorst, he adopted the name of his stepfather Pieter van Klaveren when he was eight. After primary school, he worked as a butcher's assistant and fought in his spare time. He seriously took up boxing aged 16, and around that time changed to a vegetarian diet believing it fits better for a boxer. In 1926 he won the national flyweight title and in 1927–29 the featherweight title. After his Olympic success in 1928, he received a hero’s welcome in his hometown Rotterdam and was presented to the Dutch Queen and her prince consort. [1]

Rotterdam Municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Rotterdam is the second-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands. It is located in the province of South Holland, at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas channel leading into the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta at the North Sea. Its history goes back to 1270, when a dam was constructed in the Rotte, after which people settled around it for safety. In 1340, Rotterdam was granted city rights by the Count of Holland.

In 1929 van Klaveren began a long career of professional boxer, which ended in 1956. In 1931 he became European champion in the lightweight division and in 1938 he won the same title in the middleweight division. During his professional tenure, van Klaveren fought on four continents and won fights against Ceferino Garcia and Kid Azteca. He also faced Hall of Famers Young Corbett III and Billy Petrolle. [2]

Ceferino Garcia Filipino boxer

Ceferino Montano Garcia was a champion boxer born in Naval, Biliran, Philippines. He holds the most victories ever achieved by a Filipino boxer and is also the only boxer from the Philippines to become world champion in the middleweight division. Garcia is commonly credited to as the first well known user of the bolo punch, which was later popularized by Cuban fighter Kid Gavilán. He was inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1977 and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1989.

Kid Azteca Mexican boxer

Luis Villanueva Paramo was a Mexican boxer best known as Kid Azteca. Villanueva boxed professionally from 1932 to 1961, making him one of a small number of fighters that fought during four decades. Archie Moore, George Foreman and Roberto Durán are three other fighters in that exclusive group.

Young Corbett III American boxer

Ralph Giordano, better known as Young Corbett III, was an Italian-born American boxer. He was the World Welterweight Champion in 1933 and the NYSAC Middleweight champion in 1938. A tough southpaw, he did not have strong punching power but was known for his great speed and determination. Corbett is considered one of the greatest southpaws of all time and one of the all-time great counterpunchers. He was inducted into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame in 1959, the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.

In 1935 van Klaveren married Margarite Olivera, daughter of a banker. He lost much money through her excessive lifestyle and through his boxing manager. Van Klaveren was sentenced for one year for assaulting Olivera. He was released on bail after three months and fled to Rotterdam, leaving behind all his possessions. [1]

The statue of Bep van Klaveren in Rotterdam Bepvanklaveren1992right.jpg
The statue of Bep van Klaveren in Rotterdam

During World War II van Klaveren served overseas with the Dutch army. He then moved to Australia with his second wife, an Australian nurse, and worked there as a sports teacher, dock worker, bouncer, and boxing instructor. He then returned to Rotterdam and retired in 1948, but returned to the ring in 1954 and won 11 out of 12 bouts. He retired for good in 1956 after an unsuccessful attempt to win the European welterweight title. [2] The same year he married for the third time, and for several years ran a cigar shop with his wife, though with little success. He continued to train through all his life and did not smoke or drink alcohol. He died in 1992 in his native Rotterdam, aged 84. The same year a memorial statue of van Klaveren was installed in Rotterdam. The annual Bep van Klaveren boxing memorial was launched in 1993, and became the largest boxing competition in the Netherlands. [1]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

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