An Inside Look at the National Championships

March 20, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)
 (COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) As the 2013 National Championships quickly approach, we talked with two USA Boxing National Championships veterans, super heavyweight Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, KS) and middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) to learn more about their past experiences and pass along some advice for the newcomers to the event. 

Awesome began participating in the USA Boxing National Championships in 2007. He has won the event twice, along with the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, three National PAL and two Golden Gloves Championships. Awesome highlighted a key advantage of the new tournament location in Spokane, Wash. In past years, he needed to arrive in Colorado Springs several weeks prior to the tournament to adjust to the high altitude. Now that the tournament is in Spokane, boxers will no longer have to adapt to the significant elevation change. 

He also pointed out one of the distinct benefits of the USA Boxing National Championships – athletes are selected to be part of Team USA for international travel. The champions will be invited to training camps at the Olympic Training Center with renowned International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque. Most importantly, the gold medalists will represent Team USA in international travel for the year and gain valuable experience in preparation for future Olympic Games.

When preparing for a bout, Awesome follows this formula:  85% confidence, 5% skill, and 10% endurance.  He has seen a lot of athletes come into the tournament with incredible skill but without the confidence needed to succeed. Awesome encourages all boxers to acknowledge their mistakes and learn from them. Becoming a national champion is a major accomplishment, but it only comes with hard work and conscious, continuous improvement. 

Crews has also enjoyed strong showings at past USA Boxing National Championships. She has been a National Champion six times since 2005, most recently in 2011 and 2012. One of Crews’ favorite parts of the tournament is being able to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. She also enjoys seeing how everyone has progressed since the prior year. “It is a plateau for everyone to show their crafts off,” she said. 

Crews, who is now 25, has been boxing since the age of 17. She has seen many great boxers come and go and watched the impressive progression of women’s boxing in recent years. Crews affirmed that female boxers are definitely a force to be reckoned with. “Sometimes you can’t tell if they are men and women. It is just good boxing,” she said.

Crews has simple, yet important advice for this year’s participants.  “Do what you do. Give your best and have fun. It is a serious tournament, but you need to have fun,” she advised. Crews has dedicated this year’s tournament to her mom and will be ready to defend her title come April 1.

Registration for the 2013 National Championships ends this Friday, March 22. Event details and online registration can be accessed here. Stay connected to USA Boxing via social media for updates before, during, and after the tournament. We will be posting regularly on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

Awesome and Crews will also be sharing their USA Boxing National Championships experiences through social media. You can follow them on Twitter at @Plantbasedboxer (Awesome) and @TheHHDiva (Crews).