By John Ingoldsby
LOS ANGELES, CA August 22, 2013 – Football and boxing are two of the world’s most manly sports, yet a young woman is concurrently covering both sports and finding featured face time in both.
No surprise, since this is exactly what Crystina Poncher envisioned since growing up in Southern California, getting a first-hand NFL experience from her grandfather being a season ticket holder for the San Diego Chargers.
Those early days made an impression, so she stuck with sports and now just five years out of college is on the air as a reporter with www.NFL.com and the NFL Network, while also becoming the on-air face of Top Rank Boxing.
“I feel like I am doing exactly what I always wanted to do,” said the 2008 Cal State University- Long Beach graduate in journalism/broadcasting. “I played sports such as basketball and volleyball growing up, and knew since junior high that I would end up in this field.”
A field of dreams for Poncher, who since arriving in April for the NFL Draft complete with the Red Carpet Experience, has done both video for “Fanpass,” an all-access look at all things NFL, while also working at the NFL Network straight from the studios in Culver City, CA, where she will do news updates and NFL AM assignments.
With the season starting, she was just in New York to feature Fantasy Draft Week, which included public events promoting fan interaction at the Liberty Theater, and also will be serving as a Social Media Correspondent with the network’s Thursday night games getting going.
“I am doing behind-the-scenes personality stories, such as those who iron jerseys on Draft Day, videos that would appeal to the casual fan, including women and children,” stated Poncher.
But the fantasy career for Poncher goes beyond the gridiron, as she also broadcasts boxing reports for Top Rank, potentially reaching up to, for instance, One Billion people in China for featured fights.
“I believe boxing is on the upswing since promoters are finally giving fans the matchups that they want to see,” she said, adding that, “the sheer emotion of fight fans combined with the nationalism factor are also increasing interest.”
An awareness that has led to assignments like Poncher broadcasting a live workout by Manny Pacqiuao being streamed on the NASDAQ Big Board in Times Square. “It was definitely surreal seeing me broadcasting on the big board,” quipped Poncher.
But bigger is better in broadcast journalism, and Poncher’s worldwide broadcasts are a far cry from her start at El Segundo Cable Television covering soapbox derby.
“I started behind the camera learning production, going out on shoots and the like, and ultimately created a position for myself covering the Big West Conference, of which I was an alumni.” recalled Poncher, who also covered the SoCal sports scene for Fox Sports West.
“I am under 30, living in LA, and covering sports,” she exclaimed, “so I’d say, ‘So far, so good!’”