Posts Tagged ‘Striking Beauties Boxing Gym for Women

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.”

30
Nov
12

Shelito Vincent keeps it perfect …

Shelito Vincent keeps it perfect …

Shelito Vincent, 11/29/2012

From the moment Shelito Vincent (6-0) walked into the ring at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island, the night was hers.

The hard-fighting bantamweight who trains under the legendary Peter Manfredo, Sr., dominated her opponent, Canadian fighter Rosie Sherine Thomas who had sported a 2-0 record before entering the ring.

Shelito Vincent making it 6-0, 11/29/12Vincent, showing a savvy, ring acumen and lightening speed took the win with decisive scores from the judges who easily handed her the decision 60-54, 59-55 and 59-55.

This was Vincent’s first six-rounder having previously fought in four round bouts.  This is also her second win in as many months having walked over Louisiana native, Ivana Coleman (0-3) by decision, taking all four rounds.

For Shelito, however, keeping her record perfect has another meaning.

Having struggled early in her life, each day represents another kind of win. It is a triumph over personal demons, run-ins with the law, and a young-adulthood steeped in troubles. Boxing has been part of her recovery — and what a recovery it is for those who have watched her not only defeat her challengers, but the many challenges that have plauged her life.

Way to go Shelito!

 

 

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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