Having held the title of former world champion in not one but two weight classes, Kali Reis appeared on ‘HBO Boxing’ in 2018, marking her debut and entry into the realm of television. The professional boxer and actor epitomizes resilience, transcending the boundaries of sport and delving into the heart of societal issues. Her journey, marked by triumphs and trials, serves as an inspiration, reminding us that within every challenge lies the potential for greatness. Kali also showcased her acting chops in HBO’s ‘True Detective: Night Country,’ by essaying the character of Evangeline Navarro alongside the legendary Jodie Foster’s Liz Danvers. Naturally, many fans must wish to know about her life behind the screens.
Kali Reis Honored Her Indigenous Identity in the Boxing Ring
Kali Reis emerged as a multifaceted force, seamlessly intertwining her prowess in the boxing ring with her compelling foray into the world of acting. Hailing from a single-parent household, Kali was nurtured by her indomitable mother, Patricia Baptista, in East Providence, Rhode Island, alongside four siblings, including her two older brothers, Aaron and Andrew. Their familial journey, grounded in resilience, paints a vivid backdrop to the remarkable trajectory of Kali’s life. Her roots trace back to her Cape Verdean ancestry, entwined with Native American descent—Cherokee, Nipmuc, and Seaconke Wampanoag.
— Kali Reis (@KO_Reis86) January 9, 2023
As a child, Kali found herself immersed in the vibrant tapestry of powwows, a testament to her cultural connection. In an interview with Native Max Magazine, Kali candidly shared a nuanced adolescence, marked by early encounters with rebellion. At the tender age of 11, she allegedly delved into the world of smoking and selling weed with peers, seeking an escape from the monotony of life. By 12, she faced the harsh realities of adolescence when an older boy took advantage of her, prompting an introduction to alcohol as a coping mechanism.
However, amidst these challenges, Kali found solace and purpose in her extracurricular pursuits. Engaging in her school’s bands and color guard, she also displayed prowess in sports, participating in high school volleyball, basketball, and softball leagues. The turning point arrived at 14 when she laced up her gloves, marking the commencement of a boxing career that would etch her name in history.
— Kali Reis (@KO_Reis86) October 24, 2023
Kali quickly ascended the ranks, clinching the WBC female middleweight title in 2016. Her journey, however, extends beyond the confines of the boxing arena. Filmmaker Josef Kubota Wladyka, captivated by Kali’s advocacy for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) movement, collaborated with her as a co-writer and lead actress for ‘Catch The Fair One.’ Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021, the film catapulted Kali into acting, earning her critical acclaim and the Jury Award for Best Actress at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2021.
Kali Reis’ Husband is a Boxing Manager and Has a Kid She Dotes On
In the kaleidoscope of Kali Reis’ life, love takes center stage as she seamlessly weaves her way through the intricate dance of romance, marriage, and blended family dynamics. November 2021 marked a significant chapter in her personal story as she exchanged vows with Brian Cohen, a Philadelphia-based trainer and manager. Their union, a testament to the enduring power of love, unfolded after a year-long courtship that began in 2020. In a poignant Instagram post, Kali shared a glimpse into the profound connection that binds her and Cohen.
— Kali Reis (@KO_Reis86) December 23, 2023
Kali’s words, a poetic tribute to their love, resonate with an intensity that transcends the ordinary. “Love is energy and our unique energy dances in the depths of each other’s souls,” she expressed, painting a picture of a love that defies explanation. Their journey, marked by its unexplainable, intense, majestic, and mysterious nature, culminated in marriage in 2021, a commitment echoing the sentiment of “til death do us part.” The celebration of their first anniversary unfolded in a cascade of affectionate sentiments. Kali reflected on the joyous memory of their wedding day with words that conveyed a profound commitment: “I choose you and will always choose you.”
The message unveiled not just the joyous moments but also the depth of their shared growth and resilience. Brian Cohen, a man whose heart beats in unison with Kali’s, penned a touching tribute to his “ace of hearts.” Their loving bond reflects a partnership built on unwavering support, respect, and a shared belief in each other’s talents. Their social display of affection emphasizes the couple’s ability to navigate challenges, bridging geographical distances and time zones, yet consistently finding time for one another.
In Cohen’s eyes, Kali is more than a life partner; she is his best friend, “homie of homies,” and his wife, reinforcing the idea that their journey is a shared adventure. Amidst the joyous union, Cohen brings another layer to their familial journey—a 13-year-old daughter named Alanna, whom he adores deeply. Kali, seemingly, has fostered a warm and familial bond with Alanna, evident in the snapshots of their shared moments and holiday celebrations. The trio paints a picture of unity and shared joy, celebrating milestones and festivities together. Yet, as in any life story, the shadows of the past cast their influence.
In an interview with The Philly Voice, Kali reflected on the challenges of hiding her past for many years. She disclosed that a 12-year-old version of herself, scarred by trauma, continues to reside within her. The interview touched upon her journey towards contentment, a path that significantly intersected with her marriage to Brian Cohen. The complexities of Kali’s past, including an alleged incident of assault that she endured as a young girl, remain veiled. Her choice to withhold this information from Cohen stems from a protective instinct, fearing that he might take drastic actions upon learning the painful truth.
In a powerful testament to their bond, Cohen openly expresses his readiness to defend and protect Kali, articulating a fierce loyalty that transcends conventional boundaries. Their marriage, however, extends beyond the realm of conventional expectations. Raised by a Christian mother, Kali grappled with reconciling her “same-sex attraction” with societal norms. as mentioned by her in an interview with Life’s Tough. Yet, she found love and companionship in Brian Cohen, a man who has become her confidant, best friend, and husband.
In the aforementioned interview, she humorously remarked, “Did I lose my gay card because I married a man?” It’s a question that encapsulates the complexity of identity and the fluidity of love. The couple’s hope for future parenthood is evident, despite Kali’s acknowledgment of the challenges, having hit menopause when she was in navigating her 20s. Their journey, marked by love, resilience, and the fusion of diverse backgrounds, continues to unfold—an epic tale of two individuals finding solace, strength, and joy in each other’s arms.
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