It is hard enough to be a successful boxer when you have everything going in your favor. Having all of your senses working at their absolute best is essential for any pugilist to compete at peak form. One mistake can result in defeat, or even death.
Raymond Merrill, by all appearances, has a tremendous amount of talent. If you watch him working with his trainer Jeff Mayweather, it is clear he has the skill and potential to do well in a sport that so few of us could, or even want to compete in. However, there is one huge difference between Merrill and the people he will face in the ring when he turns pro later in the year.
Merrill is deaf. While that might be a smaller hurdle to overcome in other sports, in boxing, a sport that has little sympathy for weakness, it can be crippling. But if you ask Merrill, he has little concern about his own challenges, and believes the positives that he possesses will more than compensate for the shortcomings. His opponents should be more worried about the fists that will be flying in their direction.
He is trained by legendary trainer Jeff Mayweather, who clearly has great respect for the young man and believes he serves as a great role model for others dealing with deafness.
“He is trying to do open the door for other potential deaf athletes. Everyone wants a chance to follow their dreams, and just because you are hearing impaired doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to,” Mayweather said.
In this exclusive interview for ProBoxingInsider.com, Merrill and Mayweather discuss the challenges they face as fighter and trainer, and how they expect to overcome them. While they know it won’t be easy, they believe with hard work and dedication, he has all the talent needed to reach the top of the sport.
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