On Friday, October 24th, 2009 undefeated boxer Lucia Rijker (17-0, 14 KOs) became the first female inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame. The WBHF is the smaller of the two recognized boxing halls of fame, the other being the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Binnie Klein of WPKN interviewed Rijker before her induction. It’s definitely worth your time to click through to hear this; it isn’t often that we get a chance to hear from one of the great women boxers of our time.
Rijker’s boxing style scares the crap out of me. She stalks her opponents then strikes like a sledgehammer; wicked nasty. I mean, look at that video. Rijker hardly even uses her guard, she just slips the punches and delivers her cargo, 922 pounds of deadly force.
I recently spoke with my trainer about why Lucia Rijker is the first woman inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame, and she reminded me that women’s boxing has only been officially recognized since the 1990’s, and boxers have to be retired for five years before they may be inducted.
Which is rather amazing in itself on a number of levels. Women have been boxing for nearly as long as men have, but the fact that their achievements in the sport were either supressed or considered illegal means that there was also no official recognition for them.
Thank you, Lucia Rijker and World Boxing Hall of Fame. May the changes continue to roll down like mighty waters.
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- Bonnie Mann: Breaking Ground, Discovering Boxing