We are proud to announce a very dedicated and rather handsome chessboxer from the Netherlands. Maarten has some good experience in the ring and his skills in chess might be way better than he admits.
Helsinki welcome Marten in his his next chessboxing bout against the Finnish fighter, Otto Viherä.
Year of birth: 1992
Profession: Marketeer & Entrepeneur
Current residency: Amsterdam
Chess ELO rating: 800
Weight class: 85 kg
Amount of matches:
- 2 chessboxing fights
- 4 amateur boxing fights
Who taught you to play chess?
My grandfather ran a chess club in the Amsterdam area, but it was my father who taught me chess.
Have you always been competitive?
Definitely! I remember a picture of a very sad 7 year old (me) with a silver medallion in a local Judo tournament. Later, I discovered that nothing beats the feeling of having your hand raised in the ring.
How do people react when you tell them about chessboxing?
Everyone finds it either hilarious and/or interesting. Some of the boxers I train with see the connection, and I will hopefully organise an intro to chessboxing whenever it is allowed again.
What is your main strength as a chessboxer?
Too early to tell! I hope to entertain, hold my own on the chessboard and bring fire in the ring.
In which way has the corona affected the chessboxing scene?
The great team from Chessboxing France were organising an event in Paris where I would have fought, but this understandably had to be cancelled. Not much of a scene here, I am the only active Chessboxer in the Netherlands at the moment! Gym’s are only opening up this week again, let’s see who’s ready to train or prepare for Moscow.
Have you ever been injured in the ring?
My nose is a little crooked, courtesy of some of my sparring partners. I did suffer one Knock down in the ring. Not the best feeling, getting dropped in front of many spectators But I fought myself back and secured a draw. That, was a good feeling!
Do you have any idols – either in chess or in boxing (why)?
Mike Tyson: difficult start in life, but with complete dedication and smart boxing made himself the youngest heavyweight, while still keeping his indomitable savage spirit intact. The following extreme peaks and depths in his life made him understand himself very well, and now he’s a spiritual mentor of some sorts with an unique and humble outlook. That incredible arc of development should be the spirit of Chessboxing, and I hope to reach some of that.
What do you know about your Finnish opponent, Otto Viherä?
Otto seem to have a good right hook and he is humble in victory. He will probably be cornered by that magnificent bastard Sakari so I have to keep my guard up.
How do you look forward in preparing yourself to the upcoming fight?
Agreeing to a date with a good fighter under bright lights, where a small mistake on the chessboard can ruin your training, will help you push further. Being part of such a great line-up of fighters is an honor as well.
Any last words – greetings to anybody?
The atmosphere & camaraderie at these events are something special so Iepe left an international legacy he can be very proud of, thank you Tero & Sakari for helping to keep that alive!
Interviewed by Tero Pajunen.
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