'fighting on the street is for losers''
My grandfather was twelve when he went down after a blow to his head by Hein Kneppers, Hein was then the champion of North Holland.
His mother (my great-grandmother) went to Hein '' How dare you give a boy of twelve such a punch '' yes, but'', Hein said half crying to my great-grandmother, . Evertje was so furious, I had to defend myself '', for punishment my grandpa was not allowed to go to the boxingschool for 3 weeks.
He told me that he thought then, '' I'll wait until I'm bigger ''.
Six years later my grandfather was old enough to be on the program with him
My grandfather was already called 'Evert the terrible one, unfortunately Hein Kneppers did not appear.
Months later he would box again, against him and then he sent somebody to replace Hein, that guy had to pay for it
Grandpa could hit so hard and fast, he knocked opponents to order.
In his life he fought 86 matches, 1 of which lost and almost everything decided to knock out.
He stopped at the age of 23 because he wanted also to be a champion in business to , my grandfather also told me why he never let himself be beaten , at that time it was fashionable to have a boxer's nose and cauliflower ears, some guys wanted to do everything for that.
He told me that he could remember Nico Droog, who was punching and slamming against a massive sandbag, a coal carrier, a bear of a guy, my grandfather said '' Gosh, you do this really good. '' You should see what I can, he answered '' He threw the bag and caught it with his head , "Isn't that bad for you," my grandfather asked. '' That makes you strong ''Nco said.
Something like that can never be good for you, my grandfather then already thought, thats why my grandfather didn't let him hid many times.
The last blow he received was from Whiley Burns, an American who made a goodwill trip through Europe in 1947.
That man was Carrier of the Golden Glove.
Grandpa told my sisters and me that he then had to acknowledge that someone could box better than he did.
He fought like a lion but he was clearly better and beat my grandfather really bad, at the stroke of the bell my grandfather hit Whiley Burns full in the liver and Whiley Burns hung in the ropes but the blow of my grandfather came just to late, the game was allready over , Whiley won the match , but for the audience my grandfather was the winner.
Boxing has shaped my grandfather into the man he eventually became, a fighter with an iron will who is willing to give everything to achieve his goal, that attitude of life my grandfather passed on as a boxing trainer to others, as father and as grandpa .
My grandfather himself had lessons from Dick Groothuis in the Warmoesstraat in the red light district of Amsterdam, the best trainer in the Netherlands.
Uncle Dick, as he was called, taught my grandfather how to use his power. .
My grandfather also saw how you as a trainer can motivate your students to win.
The will to become a champion has to be there, you have to do something about it and know what you are going for
.Boxing is a sport, a noble art and its not just ordinary street fighting, my grandfather Always said!
Whoever does not understand this, will never bring it far.
Nice example! One evening, a big guy with a thick bunch of hair and huge muscles enters his gym and says, "You're that strong man"? '' I want to fight with you '', my grandfather says '' I do not fight '', this is a boxing school.
'' First pay contribution and train, and then we talk '', '' Ok then I pay first '' he said with his big hair and big white teeth of him.
Well my grandfather was not shy, ,he used his mind, he sent him to the locker room and put him in the classroom, close to him, so he could keep him in his sight.
He gave him a pair of extra large training dumbles, while my grandfather kept his hands empty, my grandfather then let him do twice as long punches and let him jump the rope for almost an hour. he watched him so he could not press his mustache. '' Come on! ',' 'Faster!' ',' 'You're a guy, aren't you?' 'Hop! You still want to fight with me ?! Alright then! Are you a guy ?!, my grandfather made him really use all his energy.
After they had finished everything including gymnastics exercises, he was completely destroyed.
My grandfather asked: '' Would you still like to fight with me? '' The man with the big beautiful white teeth answered: '' Better not '', but he did not dare to say no in front of his friends, my grandfather gave him a pair of training gloves with those big pillows while my grandfather put on just his punchies.
After that my grandfather, told me, hit that guy mercilessly on his body.
With every punch, he heard him groan, the boys around him became very quiet, it took a minute or three, that's a long time.
Afterwards: '' Do you need more? '' The man answered softly: '' No '', '' what do you say? '', My grandfather said, '' 'no' 'the man replied,, my grandfather never saw him in his gym again.
Fighting on the streets is for losers ''
The match against Whiley Burns was one of my grandfather's last, fights,
In the evening they all had a dinner at Kempinski in the Leidse Straat in Amsterdam.
Burns was sitting to the opposite of my grandfather, but Burns eat little of his food, he couldn't eat because of the liver punch..
My grandfather then went full-time into business, he was already in the fur trade, he had grown up as a child,.
As a boy he went to farmers to buy moles, rabbits and cat fur, it was crisis time, I quote my grandfather.
So they had to work very hard to earn a few cents, that hard work continued after the war and my grandfather achieved success with his mentality.
My grandfather always said: '' If you want to achieve something, you have to fight for it! ''
The way of doing business of my grandfather was less and less in time, he did business on his word, , he also paid on his word, but others did not, the world around him was becoming crafty, my grandfather was indeed hard, really hard sometimes, but he was very honest, he could not trust others.like that
I continued to listen attentively to the beautiful stories that my grandfather told me about his intriguing life, my grandfather also gave several interviews at, for example, the Volkskrant magazine.
next week, new stories from my grandfather.