Posts Tagged ‘Peter Manfredo Sr.

25
Oct
18

Shelly Vincent: Fighting For The Positive

Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent is a force of nature. Sporting tattoos, colorful hair, and a personality to match, she has pushed the boundaries of gender norms in a sport that is unforgiving at best when it comes to female participation in the sport.

Standing all of five feet tall with a nearly perfect record of 23-1 save for her one loss to Heather “The Heat” Hardy (21-0), Vincent’s outsized personality and constant motion in the gym gives her the appearance of someone much larger.

I had the opportunity to spend much of the day with Vincent a couple of weeks ago in Cranston, Rhode Island as she was winding down training for what will be the biggest, toughest ring battle of her life as she squares off against Hardy.

Billed as Hardy-Vincent 2, the pair will open the show on HBO Boxing’s last regularly scheduled boxing broadcast – in itself a remarkable feat as their fight will be only the second bout featuring female boxers shown on HBO during its long history. A championship battle, they will fight for the WBO Female Featherweight title belt at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater on Saturday, October 27, 2018.

The pair last fought in an historical bout in Brooklyn in 2016. Later dubbed the female fight of the year, it was also the first bout contested by female boxers broadcast by Premier Boxing Champions. Coincidently, their fight was on the same day Claressa Shields won her second Olympic Gold medal, something not lost on either fighter as they continue to push for legitimacy in the sport.

For Vincent, however, the “road” to the fight itself had been hard fought—and in the best tradition of boxing’s outlandish rivalries, Vincent had been calling out Hardy for years on social media and in person at Hardy’s fights to not only take her on in the ring, but to help build up the profile of their eventual contest.

She’s also had to fight hard for the rematch something she said she’d been promised, but as it was not forthcoming, Vincent was not shy about pushing for it, even “crashing” one of Hardy’s MMA bouts to press her case for the rematch.

Hanging with Vincent and her trainer, the highly regarded Peter Manfredo Sr., who has been training Shelly and acting as her ring guide for the past several years—one got the sense that while Hardy is a nemesis of sorts, there was also a begrudging respect that had begun to form, not only as fighters, but as women pushing the boundaries of a sport that doesn’t really seem to want them in it.

Still, of the first fight, Vincent voiced a number of issues that she felt hamstrung both fighters—but more so, herself.

“We only had three weeks to get ready, which means we only sparred about—six times, if we sparred to the max.”  The shortened time frame made cutting weight that much harder, and with the need to sell tickets ever-present, a mainstay for women if they want any chance to fight on a card, the pressure was immense. Vincent also owned to a certain amount of chaos in her life at the time that made focusing difficult.

For this fight, she and Hardy have had plenty of time to have a “camp,” and while Vincent’s life has had its ups and downs since the first contest, she is quite alone now and able to stay focused for the work ahead of her.

“You’re going to get ten today,” Manfredo said, as Shelly nodded wrapping her hands with practiced competence,  “The is the last day for it, for so many rounds.”

Camp has been good, a mixture of highly focused work with Manfredo at the gym in Cranston, and a lot of work on her own at all hours at the Seven Beauties Gym in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.  “To tell you truth, I haven’t been focused on anything but training, I don’t care about the promotion, I don’t care about nothing this time, and usually I’m the opposite.”

“I just want to focus on winning,” she went on to say, “Because she’s not beating me. I mean, I know I won that [first] fight. I didn’t back up once, I was landing body shots, I was landing combinations. She hit me more than I’ve ever been hit, but she didn’t hurt me … and I hurt her a few times. I mean she was hitting me with pot shots.”

In speaking more about the upcoming bout I asked her what she thought of their promoter, Lou DiBella’s likening their upcoming battle to the famed Gatti-Ward fights.

“I remember those fights. And they’re laying up in their hospital beds next to each other after. But you know what, it’s not going to be Gatti-Ward no more, after this it’s going to be Vincent-Hardy. It’s going to be the girl thing, it doesn’t have to be Gatti-Ward – let it just be us. When you think about it … when I beat her, ‘cause I’m beating her, then when we have the trilogy, that’s the first visual to a female trilogy and we can be remembered with those great trilogies.”

The rhythm of our day together was to have included Vincent’s training and sparring, followed by an interview with Manfredo and then with Vincent herself, but as I was beginning to interview Manfredo, he received word that his father passed away. It was a terribly emotional moment and after he left, Vincent and I sat down to make sense of it all in a life, that for her has been filled with tragedy, abuse, self-destructive acts, and the hard work of redemption.

“Family gotta come first, that’s like my father for real … I know he cares about me, outside of the ring, you know.”

The last thing, Manfredo had said to me was, “Shelly is really focused for this fight, the most focused I’ve ever seen her.”

Sharing this with her, Vincent nodded, and said, “Wow, he said that, he’s my father for real.”

Her own father disappeared from her life early on, and over the last few years she has felt the strength to share the horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather and the experience of being raped at the age of thirteen. That is not something one just gets over and looking back on it she said, “I always wished I had somebody to talk to and I could have expressed all that stuff, because I feel I could have been a different person. So I always said, if I ever — because I thought I was going to be dead, but if I wasn’t dead or whatever from drugs or alcohol, I wanted to be that person for as many kids as I could, so that’s really why I walk out with the kids, and I remember before a fight, why the fuck I’m doing this.”

This mantra of sorts has pushed her to activism and has led her to be a role model for young kids who might otherwise go down a destructive path. She herself has had stints in prison for drugs and fighting, and wonders at times how she ever survived it, but of everything she’s experienced in her life, she credits boxing for showing her a path towards recovery.

“I didn’t get into boxing to turn pro, to make no money, not even to fight. I got in it to channel my depression and anger, and everything I had built up inside of me because that was the only time I wasn’t depressed because I felt that I was fighting back. When I fight … that’s why I wear the straight jacket, because it’s to symbolize the way women are tied down in sports, and me trying to break free of my demons and finally fighting back.”

Vincent has not been shy about revealing her sexuality as a gay woman, nor being clear that her appearance is her way of expressing who she is—and while she feels strongly that being outside of the “norm” of how women should look has her hurt, she is adamant that her self-expression is an important symbol of fighting back.

That self-expression includes a myriad of tattoos on her body and around her neck. The tattoos mean everything to her and taken together are her life.

“The right side is the dark side, the middle is change your world, and the positive comes out on the the otherside … Everything has a meaning on me, it’s not just there to be there, it’s like telling a story, if I was to die or anything, you could tell, it’s like you would read a book.”

Her story includes her boxing heroes, Ali, Tyson and Marciano, her mother, girlfriends, her nieces and nephews, and around her neck, the story of coming to 10-0 and what it symbolized to her as a moment of breaking free.

Still, she fights through depression as an almost daily battle to be reckoned with – making the boxing itself the easiest part of her day. In focusing for this fight, she has worked hard to strip away things to their core even eschewing some of the heavy weight training she has done in the past to focus on speed, stamina, and a fighters acumen for knowing how to play out her upcoming ten rounds with Hardy in the ring.

Whatever else is happening in her life, even the suddenness of Manfredo’s father’s death; right now, the upcoming bout with Hardy remains her focus. She visualizes the WBO title belt around her waist, as well as a third battle to round out the trilogy—only this time in her backyard. She also understands that at 39 years of age she is fighting against time.

Vincent knows this is the fight of her life, and if there is such a thing as a sisterhood of the ring Vincent and Hardy have much to share, as survivors, as activists in the sport, and as individuals who have figured out the best way forward is to come at life on their own terms as fighters.

Will this be another fight of the year – yes absolutely, but win, lose, or draw, what we can be assured of is both Vincent and Hardy will leave it all in the ring.

 

30
Apr
14

K.O. Mequinonoag Reis: Exclusive Q & A Ahead Of Her May 3, 2014 Fight!

K.O. Mequinonoag Reis: Exclusive Q & A Ahead Of Her May 3, 2014 Fight!

Kali Reis fights on May 3, 2014 at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, MA.

Kali Reis (5-2-0), known in the ring as K.O. Mequinonoag Reis, will be fighting Marva Dash (0-2) on May 3, 2014 at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, Massechussetts. Promoted by Big Six Boxing Entertainment, the bout will be on mixed card of boxing and MMA bouts–and the only female fight on the card. Reis defeated Dash by unanimous decision in a previous four-rounder.

In the words of her manager Mary Del Pino, “Kali Reis is one of the first Native American professional female boxers to come out of New England.  Her rich heritage includes Cherokee, Nipmunk and Wampanoag blood.”

Kali also had a challenging upbringing in the tougher areas of Providence, Rhode Island, but it didn’t keep her down, and she used her athletic abilities and keen intellect to push through adversity. She started boxing at a young age, learning the rudiments of the game on a heavy bag with her coach, the Native American boxer, Domingo Tall Dog. In her late teens, she trained with Peter Manfredo Sr. and eventually with Dr. Roland Estrada at Big Six Boxing Academy. Reis is currently back in training with Manfredo.

Kali Reis, Photo Credit: Christopher Annino

Last fall, Reis shocked the boxing world with her high credible showing against seasoned boxer, Tori Nelson, in a ten-round WIBA Welterweight Title fight in Cockeysville, Maryland on November 7, 2013. While Reis lost the fight, she gained respect for her obvious boxing talent, especially since she’d been out of commission following a serious motorcycle accident in 2012. It was also her first 10-rounder.

When she isn’t fighting, Reis works as a trainer at the Striking Beauties Boxing Gym for Women in North Attleboro, MA, teaching adults and children how to box.

Ahead of her fight on May 3rd, Girlboxing had a chance to catch up with her:

1. You’ve got a 6-round fight coming up on May 3, 2014 against Marva Dash — what can we expect to see on fight night?
You can expect to see a totally different fighter on my end, from the lay time we fought in 2012. I’ve made some serious adjustments to my training camp and the results have proved to be successful thus far. I am very happy with the way I am feeling and looking in the ring.
2. What do you want to tell your fans about your upcoming bout and what motivates you to fight?
I want to tell all my fans IM BACK!! 🙂 I hope you all missed me!!! Dust off your purple and lime green attire lol!! I’ve been away from boxing for a while and I haven’t fought in New England for far too long. I came back in November and it’s my time now. I’ve been training harder than ever and I’m ready to show my fans what I can do in there
Kali Reis & Tori Nelson fight toe-to-toe during the ten-round WIBA title bout on November 7, 2013, Photo Credit: Mike Greenhill3.  The 10-round WIBA welterweight title fight last November against Tori Nelson was quite a bold fight for you — especially since it was your first bout after your serious motorcycle accident.  What did it take to walk into the ring that night?
It took EVERYTHING!! I had been back in training since last July and was scheduled for a come back fight locally in Rhode Island in October. We got the call about the Nelson Title fight about a week after she defeated Alex Lopes for the vacant title in early September and I jumped right on it! It was perfect timing because of the scheduled “tune-up” fight in Oct, but that fight fell thru. So I was going into a 10-round world title fight from over a year lay off. Physically I was in great shape and did what I had to do, mentally I wasn’t all there. Personally I was going thru a few changes and there were a lot of new things for me going into this fight. I had Peter Manfredo back on my corner with Dr. Roland Estrada and I hadn’t had Pete in my corner in years. I had never fought 10 rounds or a main event or in Maryland lol. Not to mention the “ring rust” I didn’t have a chance to shake off prior to this fight. The only mistake I made with that fight is not letting my hands go. I picked it up In the fourth round and every round following but it was a little too late. I want the rematch most definitely.
4. You surprised a lot of fans and boxing aficionados with your ring skills that night — and now you’re ranked number ten at welterweight. Where do you see your career going from here?  Are you working towards another title shot? 
I see nothing but positive moves being made toward that number 1 spot. Especially after the recent positive changes I’ve made. I seem to have finally found my rhythm and I’m focused on doing what ever is necessary to secure my place as a top contender in the female welterweight division. I also have other plans to make some noise in Native Country. I want to (and will) start an all Native cross country boxing tournament. It’s just thoughts and conversation right now but I am determined to make it happen. I do what we as a Nation of people have been doing for centuries, I FIGHT!! Another title shot is in the works right now and hopefully everything goes thru smoothly.
Kali Reis 5. You’ve been around boxing for over ten years first as an amateur and now as a pro — what motivates you to keep in the boxing game?
My love for the sport. I’m definitely not in it for the money lol. I’m not too bad at it either. I look at boxing as an art and I haven’t mastered that art yet; or in better terms I haven’t achieved what I want to achieve from boxing yet. Boxing is one of those skills were you will never know it all and there’s always something new to learn or an area to improve in.
6.  As a proud Native American woman with a rich heritage that includes Cherokee, Nipmunk and Wampanoag ancestry — and one of the few in boxing today — you are a role model for other young women.  How has your experience in boxing helped you — and what can your experiences offer by way of guidance to younger women and girls?
Boxing has definitely helped me to channel and control certain emotions. It has also given me patience in general because I am also a boxing coach and fitness/boxing instructor for all ages and teaching takes a lot of patience. Boxing is a very demanding sport and it teaches you commitment, discipline and offers a feeling of success as you learn more and more. I always teach my girls/students to be humble to the sport and don’t cheat on yourself by taking the easy way out. Boxing isn’t a team sport so if YOU don’t do something it’s YOUR fault, there’s no one else to blame.
7. With the Olympics in 2012 — and Claressa Shields’ success at bringing home the gold, there was a lot of hope that the sport of women’s boxing would find its way back to the mainstream.  Your fight on May 3rd is actually on a mixed card with boxing and MMA — a format that has been used in California as well when Ana Julaton fought on a mixed card. From your perspective, do you think there is reason for optimism?  Certainly the coverage is more positive … the question is why aren’t female boxing matches making it to the mainstream in the U. S.?
When Claressa Shields brought home that gold I thought for sure women’s boxing would get the push it’s been wiring for but it fizzled out quick and no one made any significant noise about it! I think mixing the MMA with boxing is a smart idea from a promoters standpoint to get more fans on board and back to being classic boxing fans as well as cater to the fight fans who aren’t into the brutality that MMA offers. I think the reason female fights aren’t making it to the mainstream is because the fights that happened to be showcased are the wrong fights. They’re unskilled sloppy “pull your hair” slap fest that no one cares to watch. We need the caliber of fighters like the era of Lucia Rijker, Laila Ali, Christy Martin when fight fans wanted those females on main big name cards.

A few tickets are still available for what is anticipated to be a sold-out show.  Tickets are $40, $75 Ringside, available through Kali at 401-368-4294.

02
Jun
13

The Accidental Boxing Manager: Mary del Pino Morgan

The Accidental Boxing Manager: Mary del Pino Morgan

Mary del Pino Morgan

As a boxing manager, Mary del Pino Morgan is pretty unlikely.

She first walked into the Striking Beauties all-women’s boxing gym in North Attleboro, Massachusetts nearly four years ago wanting to lose weight. She’d been a boxing fan and remembers watching fights with her Argentinean father. One of her uncles was a champion boxer as well, “so, it’s in my blood,” she said in a recent interview with Girlboxing, “if not one way, than another.”

Still, during her first forays in training, Mary did not envision herself as the boxing manager for Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent, a rising star in the East Coast professional women’s boxing world, whose perfect 9-0 record and most recent win against boxer Angel Gladney have netted Shelito the Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) super bantamweight title and a fan base that seems to grow exponentially with every foray into the ring.

The latter, Shelito’s fan base though has a lot to do with her manager, and friend Mary del Pino Morgan.

Shelito Vincent, February 2013, Credit: Mary del Pino Morgan

As Mary tells it, her growing love of boxing and dedication to the sport and the women who practice it led her down a path she never expected.

“I was there [at Striking Beauties] all the time and got to know everyone. It was more like a club than a gym and pretty intimate. At first I volunteered there,” she said, wanting women coming into the gym for the first time to “feel comfortable especially with losing weight.” She felt good about introducing them to an environment that was really safe and supportive no matter what their body type or skill level.

Mary, in her “other” life as a personal chef and wedding cake designer was so good at customer service that she the owner of the gym, Dena Paolino, offered her a job managing Striking Beauties. With several National champions, including two 2010 National Golden Gloves title holders coming out of the gym, Mary became pretty excited about the sport and the possibilities for women. It also brought her to the fights and an awareness of Shelito Vincent who was making a name for herself as an amateur boxer in the New England area. This led Mary to strike up a casual friendship with her on Facebook.

Mary del Pino Morgan and Shelito Vincent. Credit: Mary del Pino MorganOne fateful night, Shelito wrote a post on Facebook that struck a chord with Mary. “She put up a message that said she was in a car accident and stuck. And it was like, January and raining and at night. I checked back in a few minutes to see if anyone was helping her and Shelly had put another message on that said her car was dead and her phone was almost out and I thought, that’s it.

“I wrote ‘You’re in Connecticut right?’ and she wrote back, ‘No. I’m in Providence.’ And then I wrote her to say I’d get in my car to pick her up. A couple of minutes later she got back to me and said, ‘somebody is right down the street, so I’m okay, but I have your back now. You were going to come get me and you don’t even know me!’ and I thought, wow, Shelito Vincent’s got my back.” By then Shelito had won her October 2011 debut match by decision against Karen Dulin and was looking forward to a rematch in March 2012.

Shortly before that fight Mary and Shelito finally met at a boxing match that had women on the card. “We were sitting behind a couple of gentlemen who were having a great time.” After a lot of banter back and forth Mary said, “You need to see one of her fights, she’s really great.”

Of the meeting Mary said, “It really blew his mind that she was a woman and a professional boxer.” At the end of the night, Mary took his email address and she wrote him to let him know the particulars of Shelito’s upcoming bout. As Mary tells it, “He bought a whole bunch of tickets and the night of the fight Shelly said, ‘you’re my manager now,’ and I thought, ‘what does that mean,’ and said yes.”

Mary del Pino Morgan and Shelito Vincent, Credit: Mary del Pino Morgan

Pretty immediately it meant helping Shelito set up for her upcoming fights. Shelito had already inked her deal with CES Boxing (Classic Entertainment Sports) (where she is one of two female fighters on their roster), guaranteeing her five fights a year for each of three years for 4-6-8 and 10 round bouts, though most of her nine fights to date have been four- and six-rounders with the exception of her eight-round title fight this past May. It has also meant working full-time helping to keep Shelito in the public’s eye.

Shelito Vincent Victory Bash 7/28/2012Mary spends hours and hours drumming up publicity for Shelito’s fights working closely with CES. She sifts through speaking engagements, interviews and photo shoots, and lots of press relations with local papers, regional television and radio news outlets, and boxing websites and bloggers–not to mention her forays on social media such as her active Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Mary is also a one woman machine getting fans to pep rallies, pre-fight and post-fight victory parties, as well as keeping Shelito on track with her motivational speaking appearances with school kids which are a true labor of love. The combination of activities can bite into her gym time with famed boxing trainer Peter Manfredo, Sr. and her hours as a trainer at Striking Beauties, but between Mary and Shelito, they make it work.

Peter Manfredo, Sr. and Shelito Vincent, May 17, 2013, Credit: Kelly McDonaldIt has also meant gaining sponsorships for Shelito to help defray the costs, which include the $20 and more in gas money a day needed for Shelito to get back and forth from training and to her various appointments. Mary’s success at that has been phenomenal, having landed several sponsorship deals including the well-known Havoc Boxing who custom make all of Shelito’s boxing trunks, tops and robes for her fights. In the scheme of things when considering paychecks such as Floyd Mayweather’s recent $32 million dollar guarantee for fighting Robert Guerrero this may not seem like a lot, but in the world of women’s boxing where the margins are that close, it is the difference between being able to pursue a professional career and being shut out completely.Havoc Boxing with Shelito Vincent and Mary del Pino Morgan, Credit: Mary del Pino Morgan

But for all of that Mary sees her main job as ensuring that Shelito’s best interests are always in focus.

“I help her negotiate … I have to look out for her. That is my motivation. It is not for anything else. Not for money, it is all for Shelly.” Mary also feels that the other important component is “having a loving trusting relationship with your team,” saying further “that trust has to be there so she knows we are not going to take advantage of her.” That team is Mary, Peter Manfredo Sr. and his trainers, and the folks at CES Boxing who have come through for her at every turn.

As for the frustrations, probably one of the biggest is the lack of exposure for women’s boxing on broadcast and cable television. Mary put it this way, “I don’t know why and I don’t know how to fix it, but I am getting her out there in front of people. CES has been great getting her on their bigger cards on ESPN, Friday Night Fights and NBC’s Main Event, but we haven’t gotten on television yet. It’s really disappointing. We’re all just going to have to find the right people to try to push the envelope. Probably the next generation of girls because they really work hard and women are definitely gaining respect. The Olympics is helping too and bringing new girls up.”

Being a boxing manager who happens to be a woman also has its downside. “I wasn’t getting taken very seriously … they see what we’re doing and see that we’re professional … and then there’s that whole thing about being a woman around all these guys … it happens all the time.”

Still she has garnered respect where it matters, and when it comes to Shelito is most proud of being told that “I was good for boxing because I really took care of my fighter.”

15
Jan
13

An interview with Shelito Vincent, to fight on 1/19/2013!

UPDATE!!!

Shelito Vincent takes it 59-55, 58-56 x 2 over Nydia Feliciano!!!

Per @TalkinBoxing on Twitter, Feliciano came out strong in the first round and used her height advantage well in the second. Vincent dug in though and started to really bring it in the third round. By the fourth and fifth round she was breaking Feliciano down with hard hitting and relentless pursuit. The fight was the war they anticipated with both fighters slugging it out to the end of the bell in the 6th round.

An interview with Shelito Vincent, to fight on 1/19/2013! 

Shelito Vincent, January 19, 2013

Shelito “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (6-0) is readying to fight her seventh bout on January 19, 2013 against boxer Nydia Feliciano (5-3-3).  The six-round bout is set for the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.com ($40 & $125).

Girlboxing had the opportunity to interview Shelito ahead of her upcoming bout.  Here’s what she had to say:

Shelito Vincent & Sherine Thomas, 11/29/12. Photo Credit: Cross Face Productions

Shelito Vincent & Rosie Sherine Thomas, 11/29/12. Photo Credit: CrossFace Productions

Q1.  You’ve got a great winning streak going for you. With the seventh fight on the line, what are you looking to achieve in you fight against Nydia Feliciano, arguably your most experienced opponent to date?

Looking to achieve the W… And a shot at taking her number one ranking in US from her… Yes definitely the most experienced to date… And she is an amazing fighter… It’s going to be a great hard fight… Probably a war… The city and casino will have a great women’s fight that night… Exciting from start to finish… We both going in ready for war… The whole card is stacked and will be dope from the debuts to the main events… I’m honored to be on this card with all these amazing fighters…CES, NBC and Main Events thank you for the opportunity… 

Everyone should grab their tickets and come support this great night… They are $40 an 125$ VIP…Contact myself at 860-574-5227… If in need… No one should be empty handed lol…

Shelito Vincent & Ivana Coleman, 10/18/2012, Credit: Eagle Sports Photography

Shelito Vincent & Ivana Coleman, 10/18/2012, Credit: Eagle Sports Photography

Q2. You turned pro in October of 2011. Now that you are well into your second year as a professional fighter, what is your game plan for achieving a title in the crowded women’s bantamweight division?

The game plan is always the same… Work harder than anyone else… And always give it our all… Of course timing has to be right too… I’ll be the first to tell you… I lack the experience these other woman had… I was 11-4 as an amateur; I won the National Golden Gloves  in 2011… Then turned pro and had 6 fights… Most women have an extensive amateur background… I’m pleased with the pace I’ve been moving… Jan 19th will be the next test…

Shelito Vincent and her team @ Manfredo Boxing and Fitness

Shelito Vincent and her team @ Manfredo Boxing and Fitness

Q3. Peter Manfredo has been training you for some time, how has his mentoring helped you in the ring and how are you both working towards getting you to the next level?

Peter has made me a monster… I look at tapes from my debut and Ammy fighs and compare them to now, and the transformation is miraculous… I owe that man a lot… He gave me a chance and we haven’t let each other down… He gives me a hundred so u’ll never see me give him any less than 150… He’s like the father I didn’t have growing up… He’s there for me even outside the ring too…. Everyone needs a Lil’ Manfredo’s guidance in their lives lol… Great, great man and I’m lucky enough to call my friend…
Shelito Vincent, November 2012, Credit: CrossFace Productions

Shelito Vincent, November 29, 2012, Credit: CrossFace Productions

Q4. Your story continues to be one of triumph over adversity. Now that you have comfortably made the transition to professional boxing, what do you see as the challenges that are most important for you to overcome?

The biggest thing I struggle with is my own mind… I still struggle with bouts of
depression… But that’s also what keeps me motivated an keep moving forward In my career and in life… The fight is often therapeutic…
Q5. The fight card you’ll be on is set to broadcast on NBC’s Sport Network. While your fight might not make it to the broadcast, what is your sense of when women’s bouts will begin to routinely appear on air again?  Have you seen any changes since Claressa Shields brought home the gold this past August or is it more of the “same ‘ole, same ‘ole?
I‘m not sure…but it needs to happen…MMA does so much for their women… People will tune in… An I myself sell more then any male in this area… And Every time I do better… People do want to see it… Plus women are so exciting to watch… We go so hard trying to prove we belong here….I have people that fly in from other states when I fight and I don’t even know them… All we can do is cross our fingers and hope we can get some time… I think it will happen though…
Q6. You are starting to train young fighters yourself. What do you try to instill in your girls coming up and what they can accomplish in the sport and in life?
Hard work and dedication will get you anywhere and all you need… You just have to have the will and drive… And in life nothing can keep you down… Dark clouds eventually separate… Weathering the storm is the hard part… But no matter how gloomy things get there is always a turn around as long as your desire to shine through is there… Never let anyone or anything keep you down… Always talk and let it out… Locking away pain and harboring depression is so hard and draining… Feels amazing once you air it out…

Q7.  What’s next for you after Saturday night’s fight?
March 15th Twin River…. But only focused about getting through this fight right now…
Shelito Vincent v. Sherine Thomas, 11/29/2013
14
May
12

Shelito Vincent set to fight her third bout on May 24th!

>>>>UPDATE>>>>

Shelito Vincent vs Carmen Cruz (female bantamweights) – Bringing a good vibe and an infectious smile, the wildly popular Shelito Vincent (3-0 from Providence RI) pounded out her third win as a professional, defeating the debuting Carmen Cruz (0-1 from Fort Meyers, FL) over four easy rounds. Vincent came on strong in the final round, rocking her opponent with a nifty combination to close the show and leave no doubts. Unanimous shutout scores of 40-36 in favor of Vincent serve to illustrate just how dominant she was. 

 

Shelito Vincent set to fight her third bout on May 24th!

Bantamweight Shelito Vincent (2-0) is set to fight her third bout as a pro boxer on May 24th at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Vincent’s opponent in the ring will be Carmen Cruz in her first professional fight.  (Contact Lew Beasley to purchase tickets at 860-501-4703. Seats are $35.00)

Before her professional debut against Karen Dulin this past October, Vincent had an 11-4 amateur career, capped by winning the 2011 National Golden Gloves Bantamweight Title at 119 lbs.

Shelito has recently begun training with the legendary Peter Manfredo Sr. She credits him with pushing her to the next level as a fighter, but more importantly, helping her to believe in her own potential.

Shelito Vincent, Training

A native of Connecticut, Shelito has not had it easy.  She has overcome tragedy, disillusionment and incarceration, but has found herself back on a more positive road. Her transformation will see her to speak on May 14th at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School in New London, CT as part of their “Hope Week”  Effective Leadership Conference.  Shelito will share her life experiences, struggles, and talk about what she has done to overcome her demons to move on to a better life.

Girlboxing had the opportunity to pose a series of questions to Shelito about her upcoming fight, but more importantly, about her inspirational story.  This is what Shelito had to say.

Q1:  Your first started boxing as an 18 year old and then found your way back to boxing later in your life having made a renewed commitment to training and to your amateur and professional competitive career. What has boxing come to mean to you?
A1: Boxing means everything to me. I owe my life to boxing. It got me out of depression, out the streets, off booze. When I was incarcerated all I thought about was what if I took it serious would I be here.. Everyone told me I was good enough to get somewhere. Think back then I didn’t believe in myself. Life is a everyday battle some harder then others… I look to boxing as if I can take blows everyday then emotional pains and blows are nothing… I survive beatings everyday… When you win a tough fight u feel great… Same with battles of life… So to me they symbolize the same.
Q2:  A recent article about you discussed how your mother’s untimely death caused you to spiral into a deep depression and eventually some run-ins with the law. What can you tell Girlboxing readers about your road to recovery and how your story can be inspirational to others who have encountered similar setbacks?
A2: Nothing is too big to overcome… Pain is temporary.. You can’t let anything keep you down… With me being openly gay and at a time gay was not accepted like it is she and my Great Grandmother were all I had at that time I lost my grandmother shortly after also… Talk to someone! There’s always someone there… Channel the emotions… These are all things I’ve come to learn… It was a Lil bit deeper then just my that though that pushed me over the edge.. I had a tramatic thing happen to me at 13. Which I’m not ready to let out yet… My team Dena, Mary an Peter my best friend an corner Marcia an Brother Lew keep me focused and on point now…
Q3: You have a loving partner with a four year old son. How has raising a child affected you and what can you share with us about the stability of your family life as you embark upon your professional boxing career?
A3: They make me a better person! Keep me pushing and make me want to obtain bigger goals to build us a better future… His room has all my trophys an accomplishment… I think maybe if these were things I seen everyday maybe that’s what I’d of worked for… Just a theory lol hope it works… He’s a great kid wants to be a ninja an boxer when he grows up lol.. And my woman takes care a me as well as my corner in Peter, Mary, Dena, Marcia, an Lew my Grandmother’s an Father also my family in the Hadley’s an Vincent’s and all my friends that come out an support… I feel complete again… They are my “new family” as well… I have my nieces an newphews that look up to me heavy now… Have to show them what hard work will get you and NEVER let them down!!!
Q4:  It has been quite a year for you. You won the 2011 Golden Gloves National Bantamweight title this past July, and then made your pro debut in October. You are also training for your third professional fight on May 24th with a perfect 2-0 record. What has been the secret to your success in the ring?
A4: Listening to Peter with Hard work an Dedication… An respect for the game… Also listening to what the rest a my team and what they suggest… They all have strong points an roles.. I take it all in.
Q5: Your trainer, the legendary Peter Manfredo, Sr. has described you by saying. “She’ll do anything a man will do and more. She’s looking to show everybody, ‘I’m here.'”  How do you react to that?  What does the gym give you?
A5: Always remaining that person… I have so much respect for Pete… I promise to always give him a 110%… He makes me believe in me and I know we are just going to keep building and getting stronger I mean look at our guys we got Falowo, Ayala, Toca Kahn who is about to shine as a pro! Missy the fury Fiorentino… Look at what JR. did… Being in that building gets me pumped… I love Peter he’s the best… I feel like I found my nest there.
Q6: Women’s professional boxing is replete with women who are finding success in the ring well into their 40s and yet, it is hard to earn a living as a professional fighter. What challenges are you overcoming in order to pursue your dreams of winning a professional world title?
A6: Traveling but it’s worth it… Failure is not an option for me anymore!!! TEAMWORK make a DREAM WORK… I’m chasing my dreams, no obstacles will stop the kid no more!!!!
Q7:  As you look into the future, what do you hope to achieve?
A7:  Happiness, RESPECT, become a role model an counselor to troubled youth… And WORLD TITLES!!!!!! I know this will take a lot of work but I have great support in my team with Dena and Mary an Zack at Striking Beauties an the girls there… And Peter, Diego Periera and Ron, my dudes at Manfredo’s… I give thanks to Jaime Clampitt everyday also, she pulled me back into the sport!!!



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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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