Welcome to the debut of “Behind the Mic”. A series of interviews with broadcasters, reporters with a different perspective on sports here in Philadelphia & nationally.
For our first Behind the Mic, We will be talking boxng with Crystina Poncher, who is Play-by-Play & Reporter for Top Rank Boxing.
The City of Philadelphia hosted one of the biggest fights of 2019 last night. Oleksandr Gvozdyk takes on Artur Beterbiev for the WBC & IBF Light Heavyweight Title Unification fight that was held at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University.
Philly Sports Network had the opportunity to speak to with Crystina Poncher about the fight and about her career.
What was your reaction when Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs Artur Beterbiev fight was announced?
Crystina “Like most boxing fans, I was really happy. These are the types of fights that we want to see. Two champions, in their prime, looking to unify their titles to prove who’s the best in the division. It wasn’t a difficult fight to make and both guys new that if they won their previous fights, this would be on the line. And here we are!”
Your reaction to the fight coming to Philadelphia:
Crystina “I was surprised. I know Philly is a great fight town, lots of history, but I initially thought it would end up in New York or LA. We were just here in August with what was supposed to be the Frampton card and I wasn’t assuming Top Rank would be back so soon. I am glad it’s here though, because I personally enjoy being here. And Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe/Peltz Boxing) does a FANTASTIC job promoting here locally so it makes sense.”
Which fight on the undercard your interested in?
Crystina “I’m interested to see how hometown kid Sonny Conto performs tonight so close to the main event, with a packed house. Also, Josue Vargas is in a fight with a tough fighter named Johnny Rodriguez (Denver, CO) who has never been stopped.”
Your reaction when ESPN named you the Play by Play for all Top Rank on ESPN+ Undercard fights
Crystina: “I knew the opportunity could be there since I had been testing out the role for a few shows prior to TR making it official. The feedback was very positive from the trial run. I’ve been putting in the work as a reporter and commentator in boxing for almost 10 years now so I was very happy they recognized my hard work, talent, dedication and willingness to learn and provided me with the opportunity for the lead role.”
We asked Crystina that she is with Top Rank, what was your favorite fight to be part of?
Crystina: “I don’t have a favorite fight but a few that stand out to me are Rios vs Alvarado 1, Pacquiao vs Marquez 4, Chavez vs Martinez (last couple rounds) and Bradley vs Provodnikov.”
What advice would you offer to those trying to enter the boxing media?
Crystina: “I would say it’s important to be prepared, be willing to hustle and work hard, be genuine, respectful and professional. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for advice and or tips from your peers. We are a small community and there’s room for everyone to grow and shine.”
You can follow Crystina Poncher on Twitter at CrystinaPoncher
To talk about the Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs Artur Beterbiev fight on Social Media, use hashtag #BeterbievGvozdyk #BeterbievNail
Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports