Kali Reis – All You Need to Know

Kali Reis – All You Need to Know

Kali Reis, born on August 24, 1986, in Providence, Rhode Island, is a name that resonates well beyond the confines...

Kali Reis, born on August 24, 1986, in Providence, Rhode Island, is a name that resonates well beyond the confines...

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Kali Reis, born on August 24, 1986, in Providence, Rhode Island, is a name that resonates well beyond the confines of the boxing ring. Known for her prowess as a professional boxer and her emerging talent as an actress, Reis has carved a niche for herself in two distinct yet demanding worlds. Her journey from a determined athlete to a celebrated actress is a narrative of passion, dedication, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

Early Life and Background

Growing up in East Providence, Rhode Island, as the youngest of five children, Reis’s early life was steeped in the rich cultural heritage of her Cape Verdean and Native American (Cherokee and Nipmuc) ancestry. She is a proud member of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe, an unrecognized tribe in Massachusetts. From a young age, Reis was deeply involved in her culture, attending powwows and embracing the name Mequinonoag, which translates to “many feathers” or many talents, a moniker that foreshadowed her multifaceted career.

Athletic from the outset, Reis ventured into boxing at the age of 14, training at Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Her amateur career was marked by notable achievements, including winning the 2007 Rocky Marciano Championship, the 2007 NYC Golden Gloves, and the 2006 New England 154 Championship. Beyond her athletic endeavors, Reis also pursued education in criminology and learned motorcycle repair, showcasing her diverse interests and skills.

Professional Boxing Career

Reis’s professional boxing career is distinguished by her resilience and determination. After a serious motorcycle accident in 2012 temporarily halted her progress, she made a triumphant return to the ring in 2013, eventually winning the IBA crown in 2014. Her career highlights include holding the WBC female middleweight title in 2016 and the WBA, WBO, and IBO female light welterweight titles between 2020 and 2022. Reis also made history by participating in HBO’s first televised women’s bout against Cecilia Brækhus in 2018, a landmark event in women’s boxing.

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Acting Career

Reis’s foray into acting began with her starring role in the thriller film Catch the Fair One in 2021, where she played a boxer on a quest to rescue her missing sister. This role not only showcased her acting abilities but also highlighted her advocacy for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) movement. Her performance earned her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. Following this, Reis starred in the mystery series True Detective: Night Country in 2024, further establishing her as a versatile and compelling actress.

Advocacy and Personal Life

Beyond her professional achievements, Reis is an active supporter of the MMIWG movement, using her platform to raise awareness about this critical issue. Her advocacy work is deeply personal and reflects her commitment to her Native American heritage and the broader indigenous community.

Kali Reis’s journey from a young athlete to a world champion boxer and acclaimed actress is a testament to her indomitable spirit and multifaceted talent. Her story is not just one of personal achievement but also of cultural pride and social advocacy, making her a true champion in every sense of the word.


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