BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A local female boxer is beginning her battle for a spot in the 2012 Olympics.

Monique Griego has more on how this West Baltimore girl beat the odds to become one of the world’s best.

Growing up on these streets, you gotta be tough.

“If you don’t stand up for yourself and hold your own, you’re going to get chewed up and spit out,” said Franchon Crews.

Crews, 24, learned that lesson quickly after moving to West Baltimore from Virginia as a teenager.

“I earned my stripes in the streets. I was a street fighter,” Crews said.

Fighting at school got her expelled. Soon after, the teenager found another place to get out her aggression: Umar’s Boxing Gym on West North Avenue.

“People think when you start boxing, it makes you more aggressive but it actually calmed me down,” she said.

Eight years later, she’s become the “Heavy Hitting Diva.” She’s a four time Golden Glove champion and 11 time national champion.

Crews now hopes the skills she learned in West Baltimore will help her get all the way to London and the 2012 Olympics. It’s the first time women’s boxing will be showcased in the games. Monday night, Crews is set to take the ring in the Olympic trials in Washington.

“I’m just so excited and overwhelmed with happiness that I have the opportunity to be that woman,” she said.

But the road to gold will take dedication. Crews, who already works two jobs and trains every day, says she’ll do whatever it takes.

“My biggest opponent is me. That’s why I stand in front of the mirror. Because I’m intelligent enough, I’m skilled enough and I can only beat me and as long as I remember that, I’m good,” Crews said.

Crews fights in just a few hours. If she wins her weight class, she’ll get a spot in the world’s finals and then the Olympics.

The Olympic games kick off in London in July.


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