By Alex Dupille
Power, technique, quickness.
Those are just three of the qualities you could use to describe Chase Merino’s boxing style.
Western’s lone female boxer, Merino, has earned the respect of her teammates with her vast knowledge of the sport. WWU Boxing Club teammate Dylan Barber said Merino is a highly-skilled, technical fighter.
“Chase is definitely one of the skilled boxers in our club,” Barber said. “Whenever we do pads, I want to match up with her because she does a good job. She’s very disciplined. [In boxing] you can be athletic about it, you can be super explosive – or you can be very proper – and she’s proper about everything she does.”
For Merino, boxing has been a family affair, with Merino and her twin brother being signed up for boxing by their mother in middle school.
Although many people idolize big-name boxers such as Pacquiao, Ali or Tyson, Merino said she looks up to female boxer and friend Alex Love.
“She’s a good friend of mine but also a personal coach, life coach and boxing coach,” Merino said. “I’ve learned a lot from her. She joined the army so she could make it to the Olympic trials – she made it twice. She taught me a lot about being a girl in boxing.”
Merino’s teammate and WWU Boxing Club President Jay Lee has been training with her since they attended the same boxing gym in their hometown of Bellevue, Washington.
“The biggest growth I’ve seen is her ability to teach other people,” Lee said. “A couple of years after I started, she started teaching the women’s class for kickboxing. Even now I see her helping other people out, and she’s really good at being patient with whoever she teaches.”
Merino said being a female in a male-driven sport does not bother her one bit.
“[Being a female boxer] doesn’t matter,” Merino said.
“You don’t have to think about it because it’s just your skill that shows. If anyone has any doubts about me being a girl, they don’t have doubts after they see me fight.”