Jaz in the City is music and music is emotion, as is kickboxing. The walk-on music is an important part of boxing as it is the first change to impress your opponent and get yourself pumped up.
Murthel, your walk-on music is "Hee Amsterdam" by the band named Drukwerk. What is your relation to Amsterdam?
Born and raised! I feel like a true ‘Amsterdammer’. I was born in the north of Amsterdam and everything I remember took place in Amsterdam. You can say I am a true and proud ‘Amsterdammer’.
The north of Amsterdam and the South-East (where Jaz Amsterdam is located) do have something in common. Both have the image that they not really ‘belong’ to Amsterdam.
Murthel, how do you feel about this?
I really don’t agree. Amsterdam's north and the south-east make Amsterdam the city that it is. If these two parts didn’t exist, then Amsterdam wouldn’t feel the same. A lot of famous Amsterdam residents come from these parts and they represent the city to the whole world. For example, at this moment SBMG is making a big name for themselves. They grew up in the Bijlmer (close to the hotel) and this area made them into the boys they are. Same goes for me, only I grew up in the north.
Previous to a fight, it is important to relax. The hotel you are staying in plays a big part in this process. You stay in hotels of the Deutsche Hospitality Group.
What makes a hotel great for you?
The beds should be superb. After all the hours of training the bed is just important. If the hotel has a (small) gym that really is a plus. Some of the fighters still need to lose some pounds before the fight or just need to stay in shape. That are really important points. Of course there are also some things that make life a little bit more pleasant, like a sauna. On the day of the fight I don’t train anymore and stay in my room for total focus. When a hotel has a great restaurant like Jaz that is also a big plus.
Maybe even more important is the relax period after a fight. When you are not training or fighting, you hit the town.
What are your favorite places to go in Amsterdam?
Being a true Amsterdam citizen, I like the brown café’s like Café Rokin. Great place to play some pool with friends and have a small drink. To truly relax, I love the cinema and my favorite is Pathé Arena just around the corner of the hotel. I can park my car under the cinema and walk right in. Ultimate relaxation.