As blood streamed out of a deep cut under Jorina Baar’s eye, the doctor said if it got worse he was calling the fight. Up to then her head wasn’t really in the fight but on hearing a loss was in the offing, something lit up inside.
That something you see in the picture above was more than enough to win yet another belt; Lion Fight World title (65.6kgs). That by the way took her record to 38 wins 0 losses. Now the Dutch MuayThai fighter is searching for a major sponsor so she can focus on training.
You might know Jorina from the five-round war with Chris “Cyborg” last year, or maybe you remember her fight with Nong Thoom in 2007, the Thai transgender boxer.
She lives, trains and works near her family, a strong support system for a professional career. I’ve followed Jorina from the sidelines, but it was only when we spoke that her respect for her father’s memory became clear.
She said: “My father passed away in 2006, two days after my European title fight. At that moment the European title was worth nothing at all, all I trained for was for nothing. I lost my dad whom I loved and still love very much, it certainly puts things in perspective of what is important. My dad was at my side for most of my fights - I miss him every day and every fight.”
And there’s been quite a few fights, mostly abroad. Unfortunately in spite of her success, she still works full-time. Jorina works for PPS Security, and it makes me smile to think of some drunk guy trying to push her around and getting a bit of a shock!
She said: “My training schedule varies every week, because I work as security and bouncer in a concert hall and nightclub. I work evenings and nights. I live an hour from my workplace and work about 40 hours a week.”
In an ideal world she trains twice a day, four or five times weekly. But she adds glumly: “It happens frequently that I can only train three or four times a week and once a day. That's why we don't only train hard, we also train smart. It’s always a challenge to find a balance between work, training, and family.”
For your typical fighter that’s not such a big deal. But now twice-winner of the Lion Fight title, fights pop up all the time.
“I have to keep up with my training. When they call me, I'm ready at a moment’s notice, that's what champions do, stay ready and be ready to fight, this is my train of thought as I am always coming to win and would hate to lose, that's why I will always give it my all,” she says.
|Jorina Baars Vs Martina Zindrova Lion Fight World title October 2015|
So how did she deal with that cut? Pictures from the fight went everywhere on the internet, and even though it was below not above the eye, it was still potentially a game-changer for her Czech opponent Martina Zindrova.
Jorina says: “That was the moment when I woke up and start the fight. I did not have the preparation for this fight that my trainers and I had planned on. I got busy with work and could not train as what we had planned.
“The moment the doctor said ‘I let you fight but when the cut gets bigger and opens up further or doesn't stop bleeding, I will call the fight’ that obviously that got some fire under me. I had to turn up the pace; the word losing is not and will never be listed in my dictionary.”
So yes, for now she is happy with what she’s built. Happy and grateful to the team who’ve gotten her this far: family, friends, trainings partners, supporters, trainers Dennis Hekking, John Jongepier Edu Hogel, Andre Mannaart and her manager in the United States Johan DeLeeuw.
Jorina says: “Besides being a fighter I am also a family person, I have everything in the Netherlands. My family, friends, work, gym, my life is here. Of course when things change in the future I will consider moving but for now I'm happy in the Netherlands.
“Thank you all for reading this and supporting me, I am fighting for you! Osu!”
You can find out more about Jorina at her website (where these pictures are from): Jorina Baars
She's also on Twitter @JorinaBaars and Instagram @jojorinab