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Imagine yourself in the blue corner. WaPREPARE TO BE “CRUSHED”

an interview Keri "The" Crusher Crothers
by Tom DeNapoli, November 18, 2002

Imagine 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 a LEFTY!”

   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 down. 
   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 scores go?

  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?


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 come from?

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 Lethal 
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 amateur tournament
  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 given to 
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 against
 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 different 

5. TOM: I know you have a great deal of 
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 rematch with?

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 with her. 
  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 you differently?

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 
first round.

TOM: Did you throw any elbows and were you wearing elbow pads?

KERI: No pads and No, I didn’t throw an
 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 and 
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 expect going
 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 Chinese 
were surprised.
    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 already mentioned. 
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 in martial 
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, hee hee.

12. TOM: Are you self managed? How tough is that when it comes to dealing with promoters?

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 somewhat 
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 years 
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.


Keri Crothers
to contact Keri go to: www.crushercombat.com

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