Presents an Interview with Professional Female Boxer Kaylee Reis
Hi Kalyee, on behalf of RingNews24.com and our readers, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. As well as our own, we have included questions provided by fans on the RingNews Forum.
We hope our readers enjoy the interview
Ringnews24.com: Who do you consider to be the top female boxer in the world today?
Kaylee Reis: First of all, glad to be on here – it’s great!! In the world? Hmmm, well I’d have to say even though she is retired, Lucia Rijker was and still is the best female fighter out there! I don’t see anyone to date beating her. In the current scene there are a lot of women in different weight classes that have a hell of a lot of talent but unfortunately not many people get to witness. Kaliesha West is one good little fighter in the bantam weight division and she actually has talent. Holly Holm, although a lot of people hate her, is still holding it down at welter weight. I just think women need a lot more exposure so that question could be answered without a doubt.
Ringnews24.com: With so few female boxers around, how hard is it to get a fight made?
Kaylee Reis: ARE YOU KIDDING? Its definitely a big challenge finding fights, especially at my weight class – light middleweight. Sometimes when I do find or get fights, sign contracts ‘n’ all, the girl will back out last-minute. Happens to everyone. Not to mention promoters are pretty cut ‘n’ dry when it comes to female fights, love ’em or hate ’em.
Ringnews24.com: What got you into boxing in the first place? Which fighters have inspired you?
Kaylee Reis: Well, I was always a sporty kid, a big tomboy – always the only girl playing with all the boys. I started playing softball and basketball but always wanted to fight/box so street side slap boxing with kids was my thing. I just thought boxing gyms didn’t exist for whatever reason around my way, just in the movies. As I got older, bored and into some things I shouldn’t have, I mentioned that I wanted to box to my family and they kinda brushed it off, until one day when I was about 14 my mom introduced me to a friend of hers who was a local boxer here. He started teaching me the basics and hung a bag in my storage room and all I did was hit that thing daily. I finally searched and located Manfredo’s Boxing Gym, took a class and caught the eyes of some trainers, who then threw me in the ring and I was hooked!!
Believe it or not the female fighter that attracted me to the sport at the time was Laila Ali and Christy Martin. I didn’t know much about women’s boxing but I always got told I remind people of Laila, which is cool. I absolutely loved the Rocky movie when I was three or four and watched a lot of men’s boxing growing up, and I had the attitude “if he can do it, I can!” I liked Roy Jones when I was growing up for his fast hands and Pernell Whitaker for his fancy defense.
Ringnews24.com: Hi Kaylee,what was your amateur record and what difference have you noticed going from amateur to pro? By the way good luck for the future.
Kaylee Reis: My amateur record was 16-3, some not sanctioned, “smokers” haha. I’ve actually found it much easier to see without headgear for one and also I can have effective counter-punching in the pros because I’m not overly concerned with just getting those points in. I’m usually the shorter fighter so finding the mistakes of my opponent is key to move in and land shots.
And thank you! Hopefully I’ll be getting more fights soon and fighting everywhere.
Ringnews24.com: Would you encourage other females-both amateur/pro to enter the ring?
Kaylee Reis: Yes i would most definitely would encourage females to take on this great sport. We need more females!
Ringnews24.com: Were is female boxing headed now and in the immediate future?
Kaylee Reis: I think female boxing is going to grow tremendously, especially after the 2012 Olympics. I already see a lot of young females coming to the gyms wanting to train and actually sticking to it rather than coming for a week then never showing up again. It’s a challenging and rewarding sport with so much to accomplish.
Ringnews24.com: Which female boxers do you like to watch, and who are the most entertaining female boxers?
Kaylee Reis: I like watching Melissa Hernandez fight, she has a lot of great skill and character; Mary Jo Sanders was a good combination fighter and very good to watch because she doesn’t throw just one punch at a time and she places the punches where they matter. I watch Holly Holm’s fights because she sticks to the basics and it’s effective; Kaliesha West for her skill and she goes to the body with that left hook like she’s trying to move organs!. Of course Lucia Rijker, again retired but one of the best female fighters I’ve ever seen; Ann Wolfe is one of the hardest hitting females out there to date! I recently saw Amanda Serrano fight Ela Nunez and Amanda’s skill has improved. I don’t get to see too many female fights due to lack of female bouts on cards so I try to keep up and look online.
Ringnews24.com: Who’s been your toughest opponent (amateur or pro) to date?
Kaylee Reis: Toughest opponent? Hhmmmm…..Back in I’ll say 2004 I fought in my first real tournament/fight, Mickey Ward tournament, against Lisa Kuronya of Portland ME with a record of 10-0 and it was definitely a tough one! She is super tall and I wasn’t told much about her at all but I fought hard ’til the ending bell. Her reach and experience got me. I would love to fight or even spar again today to just have some sort of redemption! (I’m a sore loser!)
Ringnews24.com: With a few female boxers making it on to major cards recently, do you think we’ll see you on TV anytime soon?
Ringnews24.com: What was the reaction of your family when you first told them you wanted to be a fighter?
Kaylee Reis: When I told my mom that i wanted to get into boxing, she was concerned as any mother would be but not surprised. She supports me in whatever it is that I get into. My brothers and sisters were not surprised as well and they thought I just wanted to try it out but not get into it as quickly and as much as I did. Until they saw me train and fight and saw how focused I am, they pretty much brushed it off. Now I train both of my brothers and have gained so much respect from them for my accomplishments so far.
Ringnews24.com: I notice that you also mentioned you train some fighters – what level? You mention “all ages” – who’s your youngest “prodigy”?
Kaylee Reis: I train kids teens and adults, ALL AGES and levels! I had a kids’ boxing camp over the summer and they ranged from 5-12 years of age. I also teach a six-week kids’/teens’ boxing class every couple of months. The youngest kid we have right now is one of my trainer’s sons ” Bubba” and he is five-and-a-half and has been training since the age of three. We also have a good number of kids in the gym from ages six to about 14 who are training hard and aiming for a positive amateur career. My newest “prodigy” is a 14-year-old female who just stared not too long ago but she is a real quick study and is in the gym working hard everyday! She is real small and looks like if she keeps up this pace she will definitely run through the lighter weights in the upcoming J.O’s.