Lucia Rijker

Last updated
Lucia Rijker
Lucia Rijker in training.jpg
Rijker in 2005
Born (1967-12-06) December 6, 1967 (age 53)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nickname(s)The Dutch Destroyer
Lady Tyson
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight63.5 kg (140 lb)
Professional boxing record
By knockout14
Kickboxing record
By knockout25

Lucia Frederica Rijker (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɛikər] ; born December 6, 1967) is a Dutch professional boxer, kickboxer, and actress.


Rijker was sometimes dubbed by the press "The Most Dangerous Woman in the World". [1] She is widely regarded as the greatest female boxer of all time. [2]

Early career

Rijker speaks four languages and is a Buddhist, dedicating time daily to meditation and chanting. [3] Her mother was born in the Netherlands and her father is from Suriname. [4]

Rijker started her martial arts career at the early age of six, when she began training in judo. [4] A year later, she was part of the Dutch National Softball Team. [5] At fourteen, after picking up fencing a year earlier, Lucia became the Netherlands Junior Champion of that sport. [4] When she was fifteen she began kickboxing and knocked out the reigning American kickboxing champion, Lily Rodriguez. [4] 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 an exhibition match at Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam in October 1994, when she fought male Muay Thai champion Somchai Jaidee, (the then reigning Muay Thai Australasian champion)[ citation needed ], who knocked her out in the second round.

Career change

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. [6] 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 . [6] She played a minor role in Rollerball 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 "Sun shine” 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. [7]

In 2006 Rijker stated that although not retired as a professional boxer, she would only consider one more fight - a bout with Laila Ali. [8]

Boxing records

As of February 2007, she was undefeated in the ring; her boxing record is 17-0 (14 K.O.'s). [4]

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 retired with a record of 42-6-1), and Deborah "Sunshine" Fettkether (10th-round decision; Fettkether was 8-4-3 going in).

Current activities

For several years Rijker has been training under the world-famous boxing coach Freddie Roach. [9] In 2012, she was hired as a striking coach to former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey. [10]

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. [11]

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, Sweden. Prazak knocked Wallberg down twice in the eighth round prompting the referee to stop the fight. After a brief check by the ringside doctor, Wallberg started to collapse in her corner. Rijker immediately realized the seriousness of the situation and called the doctor back to the ring while she and Prazak assisted Wallberg. Wallberg had to be carried from the ring on a stretcher to hospital and underwent surgery with a cerebral hemorrhage. This event sparked controversy about the level of the provided medical attention and reignited debates about banning boxing in Sweden. [5]

In 2014, Rijker was part of the inaugural class of the International Women's Boxing Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. [12] In 2020, Rijker will be among the first three female boxers inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. [13]

In 2017 Rijker hosted the Dutch adaptation of Jamie's Dream School; as well as in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Championships and accomplishments



Kickboxing record

Kickboxing record [14]

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Exhibition Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Professional boxing record

17 Fights, 17 Wins (14 KO's), 0 Losses
17Win17–0 Flag of the United States.svg Deborah FettketherUD10May 20, 2004 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Amsterdam
16Win16–0 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Jane Couch UD8June 21, 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles, CA
15Win15–0 Flag of the United States.svg Carla WitherspoonTKO4February 16, 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Ucansville, CT
14Win14–0 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Diana Dutra TKO3August 28, 1999 Flag of the United States.svg Las Vegas, NV
13Win13–0 Flag of the United States.svg Britt van BuskirkTKO3April 18, 1999 Flag of the United States.svg Miami, FL
12Win12–0 Flag of Argentina.svg Marcela Acuña KO5September 25, 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Mashantucket, CT
11Win11–0 Flag of the United States.svg Lisa EstedTKO4June 25, 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Mashantucket, CT
10Win10–0 Flag of the United States.svg Mary Ann AlmagerTKO1March 23, 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Mashantucket, CT
9Win9–0 Flag of Germany.svg Jeanette WitteTKO3November 20, 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles, CA
8Win8–0 Flag of the United States.svg Andrea DeShong TKO3September 13, 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Las Vegas, NV
7Win7–0 Flag of the United States.svg Gwen SmithTKO4June 14, 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Biloxi, MS
6Win6–0 Flag of the United States.svg Dora Webber UD6May 14, 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Mashantucket, CT
5Win5–0 Flag of the United States.svg Chevelle Hallback TKO5Mar 22, 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Corpus Christi, TX
4Win4–0 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Irma VerhoefTKO4Feb 4, 1997 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Rotterdam
3Win3–0 Flag of Hungary.svg Zsuzsanna SzuknaiTKO1December 17, 1997 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Rotterdam
2Win2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Kelly JacobsTKO1December 6, 1996 Flag of the United States.svg Reno, NV
1Win1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Melinda RobinsonKO1March 23, 1996 Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles, CA

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  1. Women's Boxing: LUCIA RIJKER
  2. Gormley, Lee. "Top Ten Greatest Female Boxers Ever". Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  3. Holden, Stephen (2000-05-12). "FILM REVIEW; Gotta Psych Yourself Up To Win at This Game". Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Bernhard, Brendan (1997). "Looking for a Fight". LA Weekly.
  5. 1 2 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.
  6. 1 2 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.
  7. ESPN - Entire card off after Rijker ruptures Achilles tendon - Boxing
  8. Horgan, Dan (2006-09-05). "Lucia Rijker: Hey Laila, "I'm not officially retired"". Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  9. Lucia Rijker Official Website News Section Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Iole, Kevin (2012). "Mixed Martial Arts - Rousey aims to silence critics". Yahoo Sports. Archived from the original on 2012-08-21.
  11. Hendin, Josephine (2004). Heartbreakers: Women and Violence in Contemporary Culture and Literature. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 87. ISBN   978-0-312-23700-4.
  12. "2014 IWBHF Inductee: Lucia Rijker". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  13. "International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee Lucia Rijker". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  14. Women's kickboxing results