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On a visit to the hottest strafpleiter of Flanders: I live according to the rules of the samurai
Sint-Truiden Master Bert Vanmechelen (40) is not for one hole to catch. The one time you'll find him as fashionable strafpleiter in the mundane Truiense Cosmocafé, in the company of the Limburg ‘fine fleur’. The other times silently, concentrated in a dingy boxing club on the banks of the river Maas in Le Droixhe, a notorious Liège district. “A pin of the country club is not for me,” says the remarkable lawyer.

“My father has given me many wise lessons learned. ‘A word of a man is worth more than a signature at the notary’, call it ‘old school’, but here I attach much value to it. Oddly enough, I find that principle quite often back at the people that I defend. The motorcycle clubs Bandidos and the Hells Angels is a given word as sacred. In the grimy slums of Liège where I boxing, the guys have often nothing but their honor and their word.”

You are a few years profbokser been? How does a strafpleiter in the hell in a professional boxing ring?

“Profbokser was more than twenty years a dream. I boxing since my fifteenth. A real camp, against a pro, was the highest attainable. “The beautiful, the pure and also the rawness of boxing is that it is one against one. Who is best prepared wins. The weak can prevail over the theoretically stronger. You can be a clash between technique and strength, and then it can just as well be the technical boxer that wins. I know that boxing is in the eyes of most people, is still a vulgar martial art, but it is not. In fact, it even has an important social function, because you met people from every social class. Some colleagues find that I the dignity of the profession into a tight fit. But how then, I wonder.”

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