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Dutch featherweight/super bantamweight Esther Schouten (55-kg, born October 28, 1977) is from Hoorn, The Netherlands and is trained and managed by Ton Vriend.

Esther made her pro boxing debut on March 22, 1997 with a three-round decision over Darina Tsokolaeva, then lost a six-round decision to Austria's Ulrike Stangl in Vienna on June 7, 1997.

Esther took a two-year layoff from competition but continued to train as a boxer, including traveling to Germany to spar with WIBF world junior flyweight champion Regina Halmich.

Esther returned to boxing competition in 1999. She faced a tough opponent ... Polish champion Iwona Guzowska in Guzowska's own home town of Gdansk on July 17. Raising the bar still higher for Esther, this was a full ten-round bout for the vacant WIBF European featherweight title! Schouten took the bout the distance but Iwona won a unanimous (97-94,98-92,97-93) decision for the title belt. A Women's Boxing Page correspondent told me that this bout "stole the show and even kept some hardnose anti-female boxing observers on their seats the entire battle ... or was it perhaps the beauty of Ms. Schouten that captured them?"

According to the information I received from Esther's trainer Ton Vriend, Esther was just 1-2 as a pro boxer after this tough loss.

On September 30, 2000 at Sportcomplex De Wilgenring in Rotterdam, Holland, a crowd estimated at 400 saw Esther (121¼ lbs) dominate another Polish opponent, Anna Kasprzak (126¼ lbs), for a clear six-round unanimous decision (pictures below). A ringside correspondent told me "the Polish girl was down in the second and was generally on her heels ... Schouten really wanted this one and fought hard for it, never allowing Kasprzak the space to box". Krysztof Zbarksi of Polish Boxing Promotion also explained that "Esther was mentally stronger, more aggressive and accurate with punches, especially (the) right jab. Anna came without the confidence, she was just looking for a lucky punch from a right hand (she is a very strong righty)." Kasprzak fell to 2-1 aa a pro boxer, but she was no pushover ... she had amateur experience and had defeated American Liz Mueller 15-9 in the Feenix Box Cup 60-kg final in May 1999.


Kasprzak and Schouten (right) in Rotterdam, September 2000
photo courtesy Polish Boxing Promotion

With her record now evened at 2-2, Esther began fighting regularly on cards sponsored by Austrian group Box-Team Vienna, which also promotes Gisella Papp, Diana Szilagyi and Krisztina Krek.

On September 16, 2000 at Haus der Begegnung Liesing in Vienna, Austria, Esther won a six-round decision over Mariana Pampuk of Hungary.

On October 28, 2000 at Lugner City in Vienna, a standing-room-only crowd of 1700 saw Esther win a third-round TKO over Viktoria Milo of Hungary in a scheduled six-rounder on the undercard of a bout in which Krisztina Krek won the vacant WIBF European Bantamweight title with a ten-round unanimous decision over Sonia Pereira.

On December 2, 2000 in Vienna, Esther won a six-round decision over Mariana Hudak of Hungary.

Esther was 7-0 as a kickboxer, according to trainer Vriend in January 2001.

On January 27, 2001 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Esther TKO'd Germany's Bettina Völker at 0:20 of the opening round. The referee stopped the bout then Völker was stunned by Schouten's first hard punch.

On March 24, 2001 in Graz, Austria, on the first professional boxing card in Graz for 30 years, Esther again outpointed Mariana Pampuk of Hungary.

On May 19, 2001 at Top Ten-Sportcenter in Vienna, Austria, Esther won the vacant WIBF European Super Bantamweight title with a hard-fought unanimous (97-94,97-95,97-95) ten-round decision over Sanna Rauta of Sweden. This was only the second pro bout for the Finnish-born Rauta, but she was a formidable opponent for Schouten as she had gone 36-2 as an amateur, including winning the 57-kg division in the Feenix Box Cup competition in 1999. Rauta made a strong showing against the Dutch star while falling to 1-1. According to WIBF official Daniel Van de Wiele, the first five rounds were very evenly fought with Schouten the aggressor but Rauta countering well. Schouten took charge in the sixth, seventh and eighth but Rauta rallied in the ninth. The final round was a barn burner with first Schouten and then Rauta getting the upper hand in what Van de Wiele describes as "probably the best female fight ever to be seen (in) a European ring".

On March 24, 2002 in Vienna, Austria, Esther Schouten won by a first-round KO over Anca Perijoc of Hungary.

On May 18, 2002 in Lugner City, Vienna, Austria, Esther retained the WIBF European Junior Featherweight title with a second-round TKO of Daniela Vatu of Romania. Vatu, who was a late substitute for Marina Kozerod of the Ukraine, was no match for Schouten and retired after the second round.

On November 9, 2002 at Trend Eventhotel Pyramid in Vösendorf, Vienna, Austria, Esther (121¾ lbs) won the WIBF Junior Featherweight title vacated by Michele Aboro with a closely-fought ten-round unanimous decision over former IFBA Junior featherweight champion Leona Brown (121 lbs) of Pawling, New York. Brown fell to 10-10-0 (4 KO).

On April 12, 2003 at Aktív Sporthalle, Güssing, Burgenland, Austria, Esther (123¾ lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over unranked Simone Suciu (124 lbs) of Romania. Suciu fell to 0-4.

On October 18, 2003 in Lugner City, Vienna, Austria, Esther won by a TKO at the end of the third round over Simone Suciu of Romania in a rematch of their April 2003 fight. Suciu fell to 0-5.

Ashley and Schouten mix it up in Vienna
© Copyrighted photo by JollyDee

On November 15, 2003 at Trend Eventhotel Pyramid in Vösendorf, Vienna, Austria, Esther won a ten-round split decision over IWBF Super Bantamweight champion Alicia Ashley of Westbury, New York to retain the WIBF world Junior Featherweight title. Ashley fell to 9-5-1 (0 KO).

On May 8, 2004 at Topsportcentrum in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Esther won a third-round TKO over Monika Petrova of Sofia, Bulgaria in a non-title bout that had been scheduled for six rounds.  Petrova fell to 1-7.

On November 6, 2004 at the Velodrome in Amsterdam, Holland Esther and Galina Koleva Ivanova of Bulgaria fought to a 98-94 (Schouten), 97-95 (Ivanova), 95-95 draw over 10 rounds for Schouten's WIBF Super Bantamweight Title. According to correspondent Marcel Niessen: "Apparently it was not without controversy. The observers I talked to basically all said the same ... the first half was very even with most of the second half for Ivanova. They thought Ivanova pulled it off. This girl did extremely well for fighting out of her weight class. Schouten fought back with a ton of heart, but Ivanova landed the cleaner shots. They only showed a few rounds on TV here, but it looked like an entertaining and clean fight. There should be a rematch."  Ivanova fell to 5-4-2 (0 KO's).

On May 21, 2005 in Purmerend, Netherlands, Esther Schouten knocked out Petra Jachmanova of Slovakia with a punch to the liver in the second round of a scheduled six-rounder. Schouten told WBAN "This was the first bout with my new trainer Michel van Halderen, and with my new sponsor Man-dog security. I'm a full time pro because of them! I felt really strong." Schouten improved to 17-1-1 (8 KO's) while dropping Jachmanova to 2-11-1 (0 KO's),

On September 10, 2005 at the Topsportcentrum in Rotterdam,  Netherlands, Galina Koleva Ivanova of Bulgaria defeated Esther by a six-round split decision in a non-title rematch of their controversial November 2004 bout. Ivanova improved to 6-4-2 (2 KO) with the win while Schouten fell to 17-2-1 (8 KO's).

Esther battles Missy Fiorentino for IWBF belt
© Copyrighted photo by Emily Harney/New England Ringside

On November 23, 2005 at the Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, local favorite Missy Fiorentino (5'1", 124 lbs) won an animated 10-round unanimous (97-94,99-91,96-93) decision over Esther for the vacant IWBF Featherweight title. According to correspondent Ken Castro, "Despite being bloodied by a head butt in the 9th round, Fiorentino managed to secure a win.  Fiorentino proved to be the aggressor throughout the fight, but it was Schouten who got the first opening in the fight - knocking down the Rhode Island native midway through the third round. Schouten was hoping the opportunity would further her chances the rest of the way. “I know I have power so I know I can knock people down,” said Schouten. “Of course I knew that that round was mine and I wanted to keep it that way. But she kept coming in and I wasn’t able to move a lot.”  Fiorentino utilized her jab effectively through the first three rounds to get on the scoreboard. In the fifth, the pair closed out the final 15 ticks of the round with a flurry of blows. “I thought it was more of a slip,” said Fiorentino of the third- round trip to the canvas, “but I knew that they were going to score it as a knockdown so from then on I knew I had to take every round, because now I’m behind two points.”  Fiorentino went to the body in the middle rounds and seemed to chip away at Schouten’s reserves in the process.  Fiorentino took control of rounds six through eight before encountering the head butt that gave her an added sense of urgency.   “It’s not the first time I’ve fought with a cut. I saw the blood pouring out and I thought they were going to stop it and I just wanted to finish the fight,” she said. “I knew I was wearing her down with the body shots because her punches were getting weaker and she was trying to move around more,” said the newly-minted champion. “She’s a great fighter - a tough fight.”  Fiorentino improved to 13-1-0 (6 KOs) with the win.

Schouten knew from the outset that her opponent would be a tough draw.  “I didn’t have a game plan. I knew that she was aggressive and would work hard. She worked harder than I did. That’s the reason I lost,” said Schouten. “When I could move more, it seemed to be my fight.” 

On September 23, 2006 at Southport Sharks Club on the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia, Sharon Anyos of Australia successfully defended her WBC world featherweight title when she stopped Esther at 1:37 in the sixth round.  Anyos told the news media that it was her hardest fight so far, and that she was pleased that she won the bout this way. After Schouten had set the pace in the first round with some strong right hands that had the local crowd nervous, Anyos took control in the second and  outworked her taller opponent, eventually wearing her down. In the fourth round, Schouten was cut over her left eye by an Anyos right, and the referee Brad Vocale intervened to have the ring physician check the cut.  Schouten tried to time Anyos with uppercuts as she charged forward but could not recover the initiative. The fight was stopped In the sixth round when Anyos threw a barrage of combinations which stunned Schouten, leaving her wobbling at the knees against the ropes and in no condition to return fire.  Anyos improved to 13-3-0 (4 KO) with the win.

On March 15, 2008 at the Maritim Hotel in Magdeburg, Germany, Esther returned to the ring to win a six-round unanimous decision over Zsofia Bedo of Hungary, who fell to 0-3-1.

 Esther vs Galina
Galina Giumliiska vs Esther Schouten
(Photo: Sports Events Steinforth)

On May 16, 2008 at Ballhaus Arena in Ashersleben, Germany, Esther (120½ lbs) won an eight-round unanimous decision over Galina Giumliiska (123½ lbs) of Sofia, Bulgaria, who fell to 8-14 (1 KO).

On July 11, 2008 at Rundturnhalle in Cuxhaven, Niedersachsen, Germany, Esther (126½ lbs) TKO's Damaris Muthoni (124¼ lbs) of  Nairobi, Kenya at 1:14 in the fourth round of a scheduled six-rounder. Muthoni, who fights out of Aachen, Germany, fell to 8-4-2 (4 KO's) with the loss.

On October 10, 2008 at Mittellandhalle in Barleben, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, Esther (125¼ lbs) won by a TKO over Maribel Santana (123 lbs) of La Romana, Dominican Republic, when Santana retired in the third round of a scheduled eight rounder with an injured hand. Santana fell to 9-6-1 (3 KO's) with the loss.

On January 17, 2009 at Burg-Waechter Castello in Düsseldorf, Germany, Ina Menzer (125¾ lbs) of Moenchengladbach, Germany retained her WIBF/WBC Featherweight titles  by defeating Esther (125¾ lbs) by a 10-round unanimous (96-94,97-93,97-93) decision. According to WBAN’s Correspondent Torben L., "The two top class boxers made the best possible advertising for women's boxing, showing very good skills and determination, in a close, high paced fight. The early rounds in particular, were very even and both women got through with some telling right hands. Schouten's best round was the 2nd, but she received her payback in the 3rd, when Menzer got her right hand going. The WBC rules stipulates, that the score must be announced after the 3rd and the 6th round. Menzer was ahead by 29-28 after the first three and she had doubled her lead to 58-56 after the sixth. Schouten had increasing problems in finding her range and catching her opponent in later rounds, while Ina Menzer skills as a counter puncher became more evident. The Dutch corner realised the point deficit had grown too big, and told Shouten to go after a knockout in the last two rounds, but this was easier said than done against a both technical and tactical proficient boxer like Menzer. Despite the defeat, Schouten was able to prove, that she is back at the top of women's boxing, after winning her far more important fight against cancer."  Menzer improved to 23-0 (9 KO's) while Schouten fell to 22-5-1 (11 KO's).

On July 3, 2009 at the Soccio Center in Langenhagen, Niedersachsen, Germany Esther (121¼ lbs) won the vacant WIBF Junior Featherweight title with a TKO of Bettina Volker (120½ lbs) of Germany at 1:39 of the tenth round. Schouten improved to 23-5-1 (12 KO's) while Volker fell to 6-4-3 (2 KO's).

On October 10, 2009 at Stadthalle in Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, Ina Menzer (125¾ lbs) won a 10-round majority (96-94,95-95,96-94) decision in a rematch with Esther Schouten (123½ lbs). According to WBAN correspondent Torben L., "In the rematch, the fight turned out to be a different story, with a confident challenger going on the attack from the start of the first bell. Menzer began with her guard much lower than usual, which an aggressive Schouten knew how to capitalize on. The first three rounds were pretty even, but Schouten seemed to have the upper hand in rounds 4 to 7 as well as the 10th, while Menzer had her best in time in rounds 8 and 9. Both Menzer and Schouten are technically well-rounded boxers, but Schouten's better game plan very nearly cost Menzer her titles. However, Menzer did manage to hang on to them by the skin of her teeth, with a majority decision ... a draw or even a win for Schouten could also have been an acceptable result of this close and well fought bout."  Menzer improved to 24-0 (9 KO's).  [Video clip]

On October 18, 2010 at Theater Carré in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Esther won a ten-rround unanimous (98-92,100-91,100-91) decision over Judy Waguthii of Nairobi, Kenya for the WIBF Junior Featherweight title.  Waguthii fell to 8-5-2 with the loss while Schouten improved to 25-6-1 (13 KO's) .  [Video]

Schouten announced her intention to retire from competition soon after this fight with Waguthii.

Schouten and AshleyTo check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos, including full coverage of Esther Schouten's world title fight with Alicia Ashley, you can go to the WBAN Records Member Site

Page last updated:
Friday November 06, 2015


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