For those who doesn’t know please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Kali Mequinonoag Reis, I am 28yrs old from Providence Rhode Island and I am the first Native American female world champion boxer out of new England. I am mixed with Cape Verdian as well. I represent the Seaconke Wampanoag tribe and am also of Nipmuc Cherokee heritage. I fight for all nations.
I have a purpose and a reason to fight that is greater than myself. I fight my ancestors before me and for the future of my people.
You started boxing at the age of 15, most girls at that age was discovering makeup to beautify their face, you was training to crush faces, why boxing over make up?
I had plenty of eye shadow make up thru boxing with the occasional black eyes I received lol! I was never a “girly girl”. My mother, being a beautiful woman of poise grace and a student of professional dance for 18 years, of course tried with the dresses and ballet lessons with me. However, I would just end up climbing up in a tree somewhere, playing football with the boys or making a fort out in the woods out of ANYTHING. I always liked the challenge of sports. The glittery Barbie doll crap never caught my attention plus I didn’t like the type of attention that came with “dressing up”. Looking or being pretty meant that the boys wouldn’t respect me as being an equal competitor or they just wanted one thing and I wasn’t having that! I started boxing because I was intrigued about the type of responsibility and discipline that came with it. It’s not a team sport. It’s just you and your opponent in there. You solely depend on yourself which is a feeling I’m very familiar with. It was a healthy addiction for me and I wasn’t a “girl” I was a fighter just like everyone else in the gym.
Tells about that July when you finally walked into Manfredo Jr gym. Was that like when they say in business “when the needle hit the vain” moment for you?
Walking into the gym I already knew boxing was what I wanted to do. When I saw the fighters working out in a hot sweaty gym on a sweltering summer day, no fans no ac just hard work I saw a challenge and I wanted it. This is where dreams like mine were
In your first fight you got a bloody nose, why not stop, I tried it, Im good. Why pursue?
I’m not a quitter. I wanted to know what I had to do to NOT get another bloody nose and give bloody noses. Trust me getting punched in the face multiple times in front of hundreds of people isn’t fun lol.
I have tons of pride but this seemed to humble the crap out of me. There was a way not to get punched and be a accurate puncher. I wanted to learn. It just made my love for this art even stronger. It is most definitely a sweet science and I want to master it.
Whose your favorite boxer and why them, is it their heart, style, fame, or determination?
I like a lot of different fighters for they’re different styles. I like to pick stuff from a lot of fighters not one fighter does everything right lol. I love Lucia Rijker! She is an awesome fighter In all styles she fights.
She came into boxing when female boxing was hot. She is just a true warrior and she knows her craft very well. She’s not cocky about it but she is very confident in her skills and ability to get the job done. She’s humble. She respects the art of combat. And she hits with the force of a freight train!
You was recently trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr. How was that? did you have to be an open book to implement the knowledge he was teaching you?
That was an experience only few get to have and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity. It was surreal and yet so natural. We share the passion of a sport. He loves to teach I love to learn and he is full of that good ol’ school knowledge. I definitely had to be extra sharp and open to catch on to all he was dishing out. It was great! I believe in getting the teachings and perspectives of different trainers. Having one view isn’t the best way to be a well rounded fighter.
When people talk about your opponent like that. Do you go in your mind like I have to be on my A game, or do you be like Mr.T in Rocky 3.. My prediction for Christina is “Pain” or a little bit of both?
Theres a certain type of mental balance in general you have. I respect every fighter who steps into that ring and don’t put anything past anyone. Anything can happen in that ring so I make sure I train accordingly. I prepare myself physically and mentally. I do everything needed to get the best out of myself. My mind set is and will always remain “she bleeds blood and breathes air just like I do... She’s not immortal...she doesn’t want it more than I do”. I know what I’m up against so I hope she does.
You waited for a fight like this for years..are you ready?
F*%$ YEA IM READY!!! LoL I’m not going over there to loose. I earned my “stripes” and fought my way to be a world champ so I want to continue by being a multi world champ! You should be asking her if she’s ready
On a lighter note you and Laila Ali got in the ring who would win?
Well first off HAAYYY MISS ALI lol I would be honored to fight Laila . She’s a few weight class’s heavier but hey I’m game! Laila got what she wanted out the game, I haven’t gotten everything yet, I’m hungry! so the only way to answer that is to start signing some contracts right?!