Rijker TKO'd Gwen Smith in the fourth round
on June 14th, 1997 at the Grand Casino, Biloxi, Miss.
CBS Sports originally announced that this match (advertised
as being against Cora Lynn Moody) would be televised live as part of their
Budweiser Boxing Series. But it was on the undercard of a fight between
James "Lights Out" Toney and Steve Little for the IBO light heavyweight title.
I fumed as Toney vs. Little, which was less than spectacular,
went the distance and filled the time slot! A live Rijker fight would have
been another network "first" for women's boxing and good exposure to a receptive
audience for the charismatic and dangerous Lucia.
On July 12th, CBS Sports showed the third and fourth rounds
of the Rijker-Smith fight unexpectedly as a filler item in another boxing
show. Fortunately, a regular visitor to the Women's Boxing Page saw the
show, and kindly sent this detailed report on the Rijker-Smith fragment
The third round started with Lucia Rijker off her stool
and waiting in the center of the ring for Gwen Smith. There was a brief exchange
in the center of the ring, without damage to either one, before backing off.
Gwen lunged in with a left and got a left in return. Smith got in a right
hand and pushed Lucia back into a corner. Gwen missed with a left and right,
while lunging forward. She ended up overextended and Lucia tied Gwen up.
Smith stayed upright with her left hand grabbing to hold Lucia's head in.
Lucia used her free right hand to stab two short uppercuts to the midsection,
before they were separated.
Immediately after the break, Gwen landed a solid left
to the head. Lucia grabs and holds on. There is about 50 seconds left in
the round at this point. After the break, Lucia bounces away, apparently
none the worse for wear. Gwen is flat footed and shuffles, with a wide legged
As they come together, Lucia is on her toes and juking
little feints, with both hands. Gwen lunges and misses a left. Lucia feints
with a right and lands a straight left and moves off. Lucia moves back and
Gwen greets her with a right to the head. Lucia responds with a solid left
hook and a straight right to the head. Lucia follows with two left hooks,
the first to the body and the second, to the head rocking Gwen. Gwen bent
forward with her arms wide spread. Lucia tried to move in and slipped in
a right uppercut that glanced off Gwen's head.
The ref was moving between and his position partially
blocked the uppercut. He gave Gwen a standing 8 count. She took it standing
at the ropes getting a quick drink of water, from her second. There was 20
seconds left in the round.
Lucia and Gwen squared off eyeing each other. Each
stayed out of range, feinting moves, seemingly waiting for the other to make
the first move forward. The round ended without another blow being
Between rounds we were given slow-mo replays, of Smith's
left that caught Lucia, and of her hook that put Gwen in trouble at the end.
Gwen's head snapped to the left and her eyes lost focus, as she sagged without
Smith's second vehemently told her not to box with
Lucia, as she was being set up by boxing. Lucia's corner continued to preach,
she stay behind her left jab, as they had in previous rounds, per the
In the 4th, they met in the center of the ring. There
was some back and forth with punches thrown by each with little effect. Their
movement and body contact moved Gwen toward the ropes with Lucia moving in.
There was some pawing to no effect. Gwen led with a looping right toward
Lucia's head. Lucia ducked under and weaved to the left and threw a left
hook, to the head over Gwen's extended right. Gwen's right knee collapsed
and she went over backwards, her neck fortunately landed on the bottom
The ref pushed Lucia backed to her corner. He turned
to Gwen, who was trying to clear the cobwebs and gain some coordination to
get up, when he stopped the fight with 1:10 left in the round.
Gil Clancey, the color commentator, said "you can't
get hit any harder than that." The move was a classic training exercise,
to avoid a right hand lead and cross over with a hook to the head.
He went on to say Lucia was the most professional woman
boxer he has ever seen, and best of all the woman boxers around now. He
personally is not happy with the idea of woman fighting.
My own editorial comment is that Gwen Smith was outclassed.
She appears to be tough and can take a punch. She is a brawler with a punch
and may have a career as the "opponent", for more talented fighters getting
experience. Her record coming in was 2 wins, 2 losses with one knockout.
She lunges and throws round house punches, that leave her off balance, perfect
for a skilled boxer to use for target practice. Her performance looks exactly
like someone starting out and in her fifth match. Her management would best
serve her by taking her back to school, and not overmatching her in hopes
of making a fast buck.
I'll bow to Gil Clancey's expert assessment of Lucia
Rijker, not having seen the current crop of fighters in action. She shows
the progress made by someone having been undefeated in about 35 kickboxing
matches, prior to being undefeated in 8 previous boxing matches. Her
conditioning, movement and short, swift punches show the result of expert
training and instruction. She appears to be equally fortunate in her gene
selection, as she appears to have an excellent constitution and inherent
athletic ability, to build on. She's a joy to watch from outside the
To check out more fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records Member Site
Page last updated: Sunday, May 23, 2004