Local boxer heads to US National Championships

Franchon Crews career back on track

A local boxer whose hopes for an Olympic gold medal were derailed last year, is heading back into the ring this weekend.

"After the Olympic trials it was very very hard. Like my world crashed in an instant," said Franchon Crews, who went into the 2012 trials as the top-ranked American in the 165-pound weight class.

At that time, she had beaten every other competitor.  But at the trials a new opponent emerged -- Claressa Sheilds, who at the time was just 16 years old.

Shields shocked the female boxing world by beating Crews, then went to the Olympics in London and won the gold medal.

After the loss, Franchon decided she needed to make a fresh start. She left the Umar boxing gym on North Avenue -- which had nurtured her career for nearly 10 years – and began working with a new group of trainers.

She moved up to the 178 pound weight class, and kept fighting.

"I got another Pan American gold, in Canada I blew them out. Went to Qinhuangdao, China and won a World silver medal," she said.

That showed her she could still be a champion.

"I was like wow I got knocked to my lowest low and I went and still made noise," she said.  "I'm still a force to be reckoned with."

Now she's back to training at least three hours a day, sometimes nearly six.

Plus she works two jobs and takes care of her mother, who is recovering from a serious illness.  She sleeps three to four hours a day.

And on Sunday Crews will travel to Spokane, Washington for the US National Boxing Championships -- a tournament she's won six times before.  And while the 2012 Olympics didn't happen for her, she still has her sights -- and her fists -- set on 2016.

"I'm like hold up – I'm still kicking, my engine's still good," she said.  "I might have a few bumps and bruises but I'm still pushing you know."

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