Next week a boxer from East Baltimore could take a big step toward reaching her, yes, her goal – competing in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
It will be the first Olympics to feature women’s boxing.
Franchon Crews, 24, has already beaten just about every female boxer in her weight class, which is 165 pounds.
Most of her sparring partners at UMAR Boxing are men. “She’s doing the hard work,” said her coach, Marvin McDowell. “And when the mind and body are working together, she’s unbeatable. Unstoppable.”
In fact one of Franchon's first fights came against a boy -- at Frederick Douglass High School. She was the new kid -- having just moved to Baltimore from Virginia. Some of the other students made the mistake of making fun of her accent.
“I said if you say something else to me, I'm going to beat you up, straight up like that,” she said. “And he said something else to me and I just remember hopping up off the stool and snatching him off the stool in science class. “I always used to kind of fight like I was a rough person. But I never ever ever ever dreamed about boxing.”
Franchon was kicked out of Douglass -- and graduated from an alternative high school. She decided to channel her energy inside the ropes.
“I just stay persistent, stay positive and keep doing what I can do,” she said.
Next week Olympic hopefuls from all over the country will head to Colorado Springs, Colorado for the USA Boxing National Championships. There will be 20 other women competing against Franchon. “It's like wow these girls actually have the gall to get in my weight class,” she said.
Franchon has already won national championships, along with fights around the world, so spot in next year's Olympic trials is already secure.
But winning next week would open up opportunities for financial support from USA Boxing -- important for an athlete works two jobs to make ends meet, as she aims to bring the first ever women's boxing gold medal home to Baltimore.
“When we go to Colorado, all eyes are going to be on her because they know her history, and the future is ours,” McDowell said.
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