Young boxer Reece Cattermole wants to inspire the deaf community

Reece Cattermole is about to make his pro boxing debut. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Reece Cattermole is about to make his pro boxing debut. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

When talented young boxer Reece Cattermole makes his pro debut later this weekend, he won’t just be fighting for himself – he wants to inspire a whole community.

Reece Cattermole fights at the York Hall in Bethnal Green this weekend. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Reece Cattermole fights at the York Hall in Bethnal Green this weekend. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Middleweight Cattermole has a degenerative hearing condition which means he’ll likely be totally deaf by the time he turns 40, but is determined to show that any obstacle can be overcome.

The 21-year-old, who was 4-1 as an amateur, took up boxing as part of anger management sessions as an 11-year-old as he battled to come to terms with his condition.

Now the former Whitton Primary School and Westbourne Sports Academy student will realise his dream of turning professional when he faces the experienced Victor Edagha at the iconic York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday.

He said: “It’s not something that I believed I would achieve because of my hearing condition, but something I strongly hoped for because of how much I enjoyed it – and how much I want to be an example among the deaf community, that no matter what obstacles you face or the time it takes, there is always a place for everyone.

Reece Cattermole, left, with his trainer Robert Ottley. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Reece Cattermole, left, with his trainer Robert Ottley. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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“How far you go is dependent on the people you keep around you and I have the right support from my family, friends and team, so there is no absolute limit to how far I can go.”

Cattermole and coach Rob Ottley have worked out a method of communication during fights, and the punching prospect believes that his condition can work to his advantage.

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He explained: “When I’m fighting, I don’t properly hear the crowd and background noises which helps me focus better.

“When it’s time to break and go to the corner, my team stands in front of me to communicate or taps me so I’m aware of who is talking.

Trainer Robert Ottley puts Reece Catchpole through his paces. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Trainer Robert Ottley puts Reece Catchpole through his paces. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“We have gone through all the stages in training to prepare for how we deal with these situations so there is no problem at all.”

And Ottley believes he has a special talent on his hands. “Reece is a big-punching stylist, a great talent and he can be one of the best middleweights around,” he enthused.

“We’ll see how this fight goes, but I’d like to see him fighting for the Southern Area title by the end of the year, and the British title by 2020.

“He can be an inspiration for kids and the whole deaf community.”

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