An angry Myrea van den IJssel (23) marched out of the boxing ring in Topsportcentrum Rotterdam. The record holder could have been Dutch champion for the third time in a row in the under 69 kilo class. On Sunday, however she lost to Heleen van de Water from Utrecht.

“This is so unfair. I got so many hits in, I don’t believe it,’ was the disappointed response from the boxer from RBV Crooswijk. “That’s the bad thing about boxing – the fact that it’s still a jury sport.”


Swept up by the entrance music and light show, the master student in Care Management got off to a strong start. There were occasions when Van den IJssel landed on the ropes, but she regularly rallied with her fast, direct hits. After the three rounds, she raised her arms, convinced of her victory. Too soon, as it would later appear.

Shortly after the match, the boxer is looking for other explanations. “Maybe I should have moved more.” The pressure of her two previous titles also weighed heavily on her. “People look at you differently. ‘Myrea, your bound to win that title again,’ people tell you.”

Myrea van den IJssel NK Boksen 2017 2
Concentratie voor aanvang van de wedstrijd Image credit: Marleen Swaans


That’s the reason for her motto: ‘No matter the situation, never let your emotions overpower your intelligence’. Van den IJssel: “Instead of looking at the opponent, I try to stay calm and use my head. For example, they sometimes say that I’m not big.”

Nevertheless, her emotions got the upper hand when Van den IJssel went against the protocol and walked out immediately after the result. “My father (also her trainer, ed.) was very angry,” she says. “Not because of my performance, but because of my behaviour at the end. I shouldn’t have lost control like that.”

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De teleurstelling is groot na afloop Image credit: Marleen Swaans

Olympic Games

Next year, the master student plans to complete her part time studies. She’s still dreaming of the Olympic Games, but realises that it will be a tough road. “Maybe I have a chance if I give up everything else for it. But boxing is a minor sport in the Netherlands. You can’t live from it.”

Next season, she can take her sporting revenge. “If I’d been beaten on performance, I could have accepted it, but not like this.”