yourself in the blue corner. WaPREPARE
TO BE “CRUSHED”
an interview Keri "The" Crusher
by Tom DeNapoli, November 18, 2002
yourself in the blue corner.
Waiting. A “storm” moves into the
arena, it bounds into the ring. You
get your first look at “The Crusher”.
She’s tall, about 5 feet 10 inches plus.
She’s totally focused, melting you with a
laser-like stare. She’s animated, snapping
punches and kicks with blinding speed. Her menacing
“stare” isn’t subsiding. Your trainer
whispers into your ear, “WATCH her left hand, she’s
Gamesmanship? Intimidation? Nope.
Keri "The Crusher” Crothers is a
fighter’s fighter. Her overactive drive
is your demise; it is the real deal. Her
fights usually end with her opponent
on the deck going “where did THAT
punch/kick come from?”. You don’t get a ring name
like “ The Crusher” by fighting like you were
an Arthur Murray Dance School graduate.
I watched seven of Keri’s fights on
tape. She demolished all of her Canadian
opponents and handed Linda Loyce a
solid whipping. Her first fight with Angela
Rivera was on that tape. Worse case
scoring, I saw that fight as a draw. But
I think she won it by a score of 2 rounds to
one with one even. She backed Rivera up from rounds
2 on. In round three she had Angela on the ropes
where she put a good pasting on her. Angela’s front
kick was her main weapon but it didn’t slow Keri
Almost NO elbows were thrown and very
few knees. At the end there were NO judge’s cards read
to the crowd, the announcer just declared Angela Rivera the
winner and new holder of a North American Amateur
title belt. It felt very odd, where did the judge’s
Keri would get a rematch with Angela on a
K-1 card in Las Vegas. She took the
fight four days after being injured in a
tough fight against Sarah Brown that she won. Her
doctor told her to stay out of the ring for at least a
month. Two weeks later she was in a ring in Las
Vegas facing Angela again. What kind of fighter
takes that kind of risk?
What happened in that second fight
against Rivera? And where did the nickname “ The
Crusher” come from?
INTERVIEW WITH KERI
“THE CRUSHER” CROTHERS
1. TOM: Keri, you are blast to
watch in the ring. You fight like every second is the
last second of the last round. Where does your ferocity
KERI: Something just
comes over me, people always joke with me that the
Indian in me comes out when it needs
to, as I am part Metis, Irish and Norwegian. A
strong and deadly combo eh'!
2. TOM: I understand you fought
Luriana Undershute in an exhibition bout while you
were a pretty green ? how did that help your ring
confidence? And tell me about that fight? did you put
any hurt on her?
KERI: Luraina and I agreed not to
kill each other, as I was very in-experienced with only
Luraina says my round houses are very
knockout-powerful and she didn't like my front
kicks too much! I wasn't afraid of her at
all, actually it was the crowds I feared.
I am very shy especially in large groups; but,
I loved entertaining the fans. And the attention
was amazing. I thank Luraina for giving me the
courage to do this.
TOM: How did you get the
name, "The Crusher"? And who coined that and why?
Do you feel any sense of obligation to live up to
the awesome image of flattening an opponent?
KERI: The name “Crusher” was
me from a fan at my 2nd fight in Kelowna, B.C.
I broke their home town girl's nose in the first
round, she was too faint to continue. And Someone
in the crowd yelled “Crusher” and my corner men
at the time wouldn't let it go, they called me that
non-stop. They kept bugging
me as I hated the name. But they made it stick.
4. TOM: You have done very well
fellow Canadians? Is there a secret to fighting them?
Or is there a particular fighting trait that makes
a Canadian fighter easier to beat?
KERI: I have done well against
Canadians. I don't think there is any secret to
them that I know of, all my fights have been
against the best and every one of them had a
5. TOM: I know you have a great
respect for Angela Rivera but is there really some
unfinished business between you two? I thought you
deserved a DRAW at the very least in your first
fight with her? Tell me about the second fight, the
KERI: I think Angela is an amazing
fighter, she deserves all the recognition she has
received. I’d like to fight her again and I think
I’d win. I only had two weeks notice on both fights
The second time we fought, I had two
sprained ankles and an injured wrist. I was bruised
from a fight two weeks before that match. I was
very happy with my performance at the K1.
My nose being broke in the first rounds by an
elbow didn't even stop me!!!!
TOM: What happened in your second
fight with Angela? You trained to fight her based
on your first fight but obviously she trained to fight
KERI: I did train to fight her
differently the second time but only for two weeks and
it wasn’t full training in that my ankles were sore.
It was the first time that my cardio wasn’t there
and Angela caught me with a wicked elbow that broke
my nose in the
TOM: Did you throw any elbows and
were you wearing elbow pads?
KERI: No pads and No, I didn’t
elbow. In Canada elbows aren’t allowed
so I have never trained to throw them.
Back to fight number two, Angela took
advantage of my hesitation and she fought well-
TOM: Think you were set up??
KERI: I don’t know but I
learned a lot.
It is not unfinished business between us
but when she returns I’d love to be that
first fight. She is a lot of fun to compete
6. TOM: I watched you wipe out
Tanya Staats with one your superlative-
crushing ring moves. You threw a jump kick and
then, while airborne, turned it into a flying hook kinda
punch. I’m thinking, lordee, this girl is like
the Michael Jordan of kick fighting! Tell
me about that fight and that punch?
KERI: That was against Tanya
Staats, my 3rd fight, and the 1st time using leg
kicks. I was in amazing shape for that fight and
hungry for another knockout, which I got.
She was very sturdy. But she shouldn't have come
out for the 3rd round. I took advantage of the
situation using a bicycle punch taught by my sensei
Stan Peterec. He told me that punch would take her
out in between the rounds. A perfect lesson in listening
to your corner!
7. TOM: The WIBF rankings are out
you are number one at 140 pounds and
number 6 at 135?what weight do you
want to fight for a title at?
KERI: I will fight at both those
weights for any titles. I am very comfortable with
either of those weights. Asking me to get down
to 125 pounds, like I fought at in the beginning,
is pretty much something to laugh at.
8. TOM: Keri, I interviewed
Marlowe McCray and she is very interested in
fighting you. Marlowe fights with the same level of
energy and determination that you do. Can we make that
match right here in this interview?
KERI: Marlowe McCray, you are in
for one good match up! I'll take on that
opportunity in a heartbeat******
9. TOM: You went to China for your
first pro fight. A very tough local lady is across
the ring and you are fighting her rules. What was
that like? Were the Chinese decent to fight for?
KERI: I was honored to be
chosen by Master Toddy to fight in China. It was very
interesting and quite the experience but I don’t
consider it a pro fight. I was fighting Muay
Thai for Team Thailand. I really didn't know what to
there and was quite shocked by the whole event.
The judging was very one sided (for Chinese KungFu).
The Thailand team, my “team”, was unable
to elbow and knee continuously- you were lucky to get
one in when you got in a clinch as only one elbow
and one knee were allowed per round. Throws were
allowed, which I was very capable of defending
every time and even reversing on Wang Zhan li. The
My boyfriend, Michael Jorgensen,
is a NHB champion fighter, so I have picked up some
moves from him. The Chinese took very good care of
me and I’d go back anytime to fight for them.
10. TOM: Who is on your hit list?
KERI: Wang Zhan Li! I
would love a re-match with her, and Marlowe McCray, who I've
I will take her challenge. I’d also like to invite Angela Rivera
up to Canada this time.I'll fight anyone that wants to
fight me, I try to always be ready!
11. TOM: You are in awesome shape?
Tell me about your typical training routine, who
you spar with??
KERI: I train four - six hours a
day when I know a fight is coming. I always train
cardio and speed; if I'm confident in these aspects
I have no worry going into the ring. I also cross train
arts by doing kickboxing and Shotokan Karate with
Stan Peterec , Yoshukai Karate with Master Hitoshi,
submission wrestling classes with Adam Zugec and am
doing boxing with Keith McKenzie.
I have also trained at Master Toddy's Muay Thai camp
in Vegas. I try to be a very well rounded fighter so I'm
ready for anyone. Wind sprints and hiking are my
best forms of cardio. I do a light
weight full body work out 3-4 times a week, kickboxing
drills using Thai pads, heavy bags and many other
drills. I try to double the amount of rounds my
fight would be on every thing I do. During work I
think about getting my training time in.
My typical workday is busy, I work with mentally challenged
people part time, teach Karate and Kickboxing
classes and also have my five-year-old son to take
care of. I am very intense, close to a
fight. I'm told I can be just a little bit hard to be around,
12. TOM: Are you self managed? How
tough is that when it comes to dealing with
KERI: I have had the help of my
sensei/trainer Stan Peterec. Master Toddy has been
very kind to help me out and promote me. I'm
self-managed as I do like to talk to promoters and
trainers personally, this way I know all the details!!!
13. TOM: Imagine that we are 3
into the future, what happened to Keri
"The Crusher" Crothers in those 3 years?
KERI: Well of course I need
to be the World champion! Maybe even a few times (I
hope). I have kept busy in this game, gained more
experience, and most of all, I stayed healthy.
14. TOM: I love your energy, your
ferocity and your skill. You go after the knock-out
and that makes you a fan favorite. Everybody has an
Achilles heel. What do you think is your weakness?
Any advice to up and coming fighters? That question
is kind of funny in that you have only had one pro
fight, for Team Thailand (ha)!
KERI: I need more
experience!!!!!!!! I have all the technique, I've
got speed and good wind but I always get the hard
fights, not complaining BUT with more experience I could
dominate in this sport. I think I have the
potential to be even better.
16. TOM: Keri, best of luck,
although you don’t need luck, you just need a
promoter to realize that YOU are future of women’s kick
fighting and a crowd pleasing favorite!
KERI: Thank you Tom, and a thank
you to Dan at womenkickboxing.com for his support!
Postscript: Look for Keri in Las
Vegas in 2003. She will be on Master Toddy’s Pretty
Tigers card if all goes according to plan.