Franchon Crews Q&A

One-on-one with the 'heavy-hitting diva'

  • Crews works out at the UMAR Boxing club in West Baltimore.
Crews works out at the UMAR Boxing club in West Baltimore. (Colby Ware / The Baltimore…)
October 19, 2011|By Lem Satterfield

A Q&A with Franchon Crews:

Can you talk about your last few fights?

Well, it was the National Golden Gloves tournament, and it was my first time back on the national scene in a while. So I had all types of feelings — nervousness, excitement, eagerness. But everything came together. I feel that my performance overall was good. My first fight, I fought a girl who was a little shorter than I am, but I out-boxed her throughout all four rounds.

I could have stopped her, but being in Colorado, the air was thinner, so I wanted to get the air into my lungs and to test my endurance. I was able to do that with ease. The second fight I had was with a young lady who was taller than me, but I stopped her in the fourth round. She couldn't take my power and I was just a little too sharp for her.

My third fight was a little more difficult because my mind was not right, and not because of the girl that I was fighting. But I pulled out the win. I regrouped after a day off, and I was able to win and get into the finals. When I got into the finals, that was the most comfortable that I had been during the entire tournament.

I was more comfortable in that fight than I had been during the entire tournament. It was basically a chess match. I could have gone for broke and dogged her out. But I said, "Look, I'm on a point

system," and … I had a lot of people watching, and she had been a national champion.

Her name was Alyssa DeFazio. I was the underdog and so I had to fight smart. She had been a 2009 champion and she was like third place in 2010. She was up there, but I was still the veteran.

I believe strongly since I've gotten back into boxing and that I'm putting everything into it that nobody's going to beat me unless it's because of something that I've done wrong.

How thrilling was that?

Well, it was awesome. Because now that women's boxing is an Olympic sport, my weight class got the same treatment as the men. So we were streamed live on the internet, we fought in a big auditorium with spotlights. You had reporters and they were doing replays. We had commentary. It was wild. So I felt like I was on stage and I had to perform.

How excited are you that you have a shot at bringing home an Olympic gold medal?

Well, I believe that with my whole move to Baltimore until what is happening now, that everything happens for a reason. That's the power of choice. You either go this way or that way.

I could have gone the opposite way and become a statistic. But I persevered and I endured, and you reap what you sew. If you plant the seeds, nine times out of 10, you will get that back.

I'm on that track right now to be the national champion in the year before the Olympics, and then, the Pan Am games, that's the big deal too. It's the first time in history that women have ever been in the Pan Am games. I just go with the flow. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Put it that way.

Can you discuss your childhood?

In my childhood, I've seen pain. But I've always known love. I don't care if my mom and my dad went at it, or I went at it with a person on the street. I've always known love. That's one thing that my mom always showed me. Love conquers all. I used to be a problem child. I used to have aggression. [In June of 2010, Crews and another woman were charged with second-degree assault of each other; both were cleared.]

But as I've gotten older, I've been blessed to be able to channel that into something positive. Violence isn't neccessarily positive, but it's the course of life that I've taken so far. Even when I'm fighting, I'm never to the point where I'm like, "I want to kill you."

That starts the point where you don't have self-control. That's the animalistic thing that comes out of you, and I don't fight like that. But don't take me for a sucker. I do what I have to do.

So I let my skills take over moreso than that beast within me. But when I have to unleash it, I will when it gets to that point. Just like this last tournament that I was in. I was never super-tired because I train really hard.

What advice would you have for a girl who wants to start boxing?

What I tell young girls is that it's not a game. You can play soccer, you can play basketball, but you can't play boxing. Don't think that because you're a girl that you're going to get special treatment. You have to work twice as hard as the boys, because usually, we're not built for this, you know? Just like in life, you get out of it what you put into it.

If you don't run and if you don't do your situps or you don't train like you should, don't be surprised when you step into the ring and you get your head knocked off. And if you are doing what you're supposed to do, and you still get into the ring and get your head knocked off, you might want to try to add something different to it to make yourself stronger.

If that doesn't work, then, you know, maybe boxing isn't for you. It's not for everybody. It's just not, you know?

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