Kali "KO Mequinonoag" Reis, a native
American female fighter from Providence, Rhode Island, United
States. Ries has lived in Rhode Island, since birth and she is the
youngest of five "talented" children.
Reis told WBAN, "My mom raised me as a single parent and we
attended, as well as competed, Native "pow wows" regularly. Everyone
in my family is involved with either sports or music or both.
I grew up a rough, tough and determined girl; playing tackle
football with all the neighborhood boys, wresting, fighting,
building forts and anything else that would potentially get me hurt
or in trouble!"
Reis also played basketball/softball in leagues since she was five
years old to Junior High school and High School.
"I was involved in the schools bands/marching bands and color guard
and also played high school volleyball. As far as school work went,
I was an A/B student and had no problems passing but, I had a smart
mouth that was running 24/7 and a "I don't care, you can't stop me"
type of attitude. I was knighted the class clown early on and
wouldn't back down from anything or anyone. This lead to a few
suspensions and a permanent seat in detention," said Reis.
Reis has been in the boxing world since the age of 15. She
always wanted to get into boxing but never knew where to go around
here area and had never really heard of any gyms. "I guess I thought
it was just in the cool areas like in the movies," added Reis.
Reis said, "A friend of my mother, Domingo "Talldog", a local
Native pro fighter, started teaching me the basics of boxing at my
house in a storage room a couple of times a week and eventually put
up a bag. I learned quickly and would practice what Domingo taught
me every second that I could. At that point the flame
was lit and I was already wanting more. Still not satisfied with
just our private lessons, I wantedto hear a bell, hear other
fighters training, see other fighters sparring, sweat, bleed, hear
trainers, feel the energy of a REAL boxing gym and learn everything
I could about this tough sport."
"Talking to a friend/cousin the summer before my senior year in high
school I learned that she had been involved with kick boxing and
boxing with her father and trainer Orlando Valles for a while and
was training at Manfredo's Gym in Pawtucket at the time. I
went to the gym on a very hot July afternoon to check it out and
when I walked in I saw exactly what I wanted to see.
I talked to the owner, father of local providence fighter Peter
Manfredo Jr., Peter Manfredo and his initial assumption for me
wanting to join was that I just wanted to workout"
"He told me that 'if I were you, I would much rather be at the beach
enjoying my summer. You don't want be here working out in this
heat with all these sweaty guys!' I just looked around and saw a
number of fighters wrapping up, jumping rope, hitting heavy and
speed bag, shadow boxing in the ring, sweating profusely, working
hard and thought "this is it"! Peter showed me around introduced
some fighters and explained that he had a class that ran for about
90mins every Tues. & Thurs. After taking it all in, I gave him my
info, a hand shake and was out the door."
"Filled with excitement, I spoke to Orlando about starting to train
with him and his daughter. I began going to the gym with him and his
daughter Kristin a few times a week in the summer and then everyday
after school. We would take the classes on the designated days and
run through what we learned on the other days as well as spar each
other. Peter quickly noticed that I was serious about wanting fight
and catching on quick and started paying more attention to me. It
took no time for him to tell me he wanted me to fight. I started
sparring other guys in the gym and about a month later I was
fighting on a amateur show at his gym against a 30 yr old kickboxer.
It was one of the most intense moments of my life! I did good but
got a bad bloody nose in the process. All that did was push my
determination to the ultimate level. I trained harder longer and
wanted to learn. I started to train with Peter on a regular basis. "
To be continued soon on WBAN...