Boxer / Actress Appeared In Academy Award-winning Million Dollar Baby
CANASTOTA, NY – FEBRUARY 19, 2013 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced female boxing star Lucia Rijker will be in Canastota for festivities planned for the 24th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend set for June 6-9th. Rijker will be making her first trip to “Boxing’s Hometown.”
“The Dutch Destroyer” Lucia Rijker
“Lucia Rijker was one of the top female fighters in boxing,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “Boxing fans will surely be excited to see ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ in Canastota for the first time.”
Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Rijker made her boxing debut in 1996. During her career, she posted an undefeated record of 17-0 (14 KOs) and was trained by Hall of Famers Emanuel Steward and Freddie Roach. Rijker holds wins over Chevelle Hallback, Andrea DeShong and Jane Couch among others. She captured the WIBF super lightweight title in 1997 and the IBO light welterweight title in 1998. Rijker portrayed Billie “The Blue Bear” in the 2005 Academy Award winning motion picture Million Dollar Baby, starring alongside Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood.
“I’m honored to be there for Arturo Gatti’s induction. I’ve seen him fight several times and watched him go to war. He gave it his all. His heart and what he contributed to boxing with his exciting fights was a great asset to boxing. And I’m also excited for Jimmy Lennon, Jr. He is the face of boxing. When you see him you think of boxing,” said Rijker.
Events planned for the weekend include a banquet, a night of welterweight warriors, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2013. Inductees include two-division champion Arturo “Thunder” Gatti (posthumous), five-time world champion Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill and two-time light flyweight champion Myung-Woo Yuh in the Modern category; “Let’s Get It On” referee Mills Lane, ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr. and journalist Colin Hart. Posthumous inductees in the Old-Timer, Pioneer, Non-Participant and Observer categories will also be honored.
An impressive list of over 40 boxing greats from the United States and abroad are scheduled to participate in weekend festivities.