Photo provided by Salinas and taken by Aj Jaworski
[Interview by Pattee Mak – March 8, 2016] We have a new super featherweight female boxer in the New England area and her name is Jennifer Salinas “The Bolivian Queen” (18-3-0, 4 Kos) who currently resides in Providence, Rhode Island with none other than Shelly “Shelito” Vincent (16-0-0, 1 kos). Salinas held the WBF female super bantamweight title and currently holds the UBF World female super featherweight title
Pattee Mak: Welcome to the northeast. I’m sure you and Shelly have been keeping very busy in the boxing scene and outside of the boxing scene. For those that are unfamiliar with you, in a few words tell me about your boxing career, when you started, your toughest bout to date and how you got into boxing and why boxing?
Salinas: Hi Pattee and thanks for the interview...well, I'm 33 years old and have been fighting since I was 19. When I started boxing I had dropped out of high school and was getting in trouble constantly, didn't really care much for life period. I worked as a waitress next to a boxing gym and decided to check it out. I fell in love with the sport ever since and can't imagine my life without it. Why boxing? Well, I felt rage, hated myself and everyone around me, I just wanted to fight so I figured why not try something that allowed me to do just that (fighting) and stay outta trouble. I was living with a secret and it was slowly killing me inside, now I can talk about with no shame, I was sexually abused from age 5 until 9 by two men close to the family and molested for many years after by a family member. All of that had a lot to do with my behavior at the time, I come from an abusive past, my father was physically and emotionally abusive towards my mother, brother and myself, I was in foster care for a while at age 3...at age 15 my parents divorced and my mother and I came to the States, I was bullied a lot, didn’t know English. I was just a mad child by the time I started boxing. This sport has saved my life Pattee.
Pattee Mak: OMG that’s awful that all of that had happened to you. I’m sure there are other women out there that can relate to what you went through. You are definitely a survivor.
Pattee Mak: You are currently training with Peter Manfredo, Sr. at Striking Beauties Gym. Tell me how training with him differs from other trainers you had in the past.
Salinas: Training with Peter Manfredo is a different experience for me. I've had to move a few times throughout my boxing career, meaning a new gym and new trainer a few times. I've always had trainers that had many fighters to attend to unlike Pete, he only has 6 fighters and that's including me, Toka Khan-Clary, Thomas Falawo, Shelly Vincent, Cassius Chaney and Anthony Marsella, Jr. So he's able to spend more quality time with each one of us, he's a perfectionist and known for being one of the best out there. I've also trained with Floyd Mayweather Sr witch was a great experience, I'm very happy with my new team and looking forward to great things.
Pattee Mak: Recently Telemundo visited Striking Beauties and shot some footage of you. Tell me in more detail about the taping and what it entailed.
Salinas: Recently Telemundo came out to Providence for taping of my camp, I've captured the Latin media’s attention with my life story, mother, fighter, sexual abuse survivor and I share my testimony with anyone who wants to listen, I do it with the best intentions with hope that it will motivate and inspire women to follow their dreams no matter what the circumstances might be in their lives. This particular TV show is called QUE NOCHE, I just got back from taping on their set in Miami where I was also able to share my passion for music, I play the piano by ear and have many compositions, my music also carries a strong message about the topic of abuse, I have a music video on YouTube QUE TE ATRAJO A MI and I'm currently working on a another song at the studio. Music is my outlet as well as boxing and I use every tool possible to protest about this sad but serious situation (sexual abuse) and it's exactly what I did for this particular show with Telemundo. Click here to view watch the video.
Pattee Mak: I just listened to the video. What a wonderful voice you have while singing from your soul.
Pattee Mak: Next month you and Shelly will be traveling to Bolivia. Is this trip to business or pleasure?
Salinas: In April of this year I'll be traveling to Bolivia with Shelly Vincent. Boxing has been a life saver for both of us since we share similar pasts but we are ready for therapy to treat the depression we suffer as consequence of our trauma. They have a great program out there that can help us and the time is now. We'll be out there for about 6 weeks.
Pattee Mak: Your last fight was on 11-12-2015 against Melissa St. Vil (6-1-3). You were victorious by UD. When can we see you in the ring next? And are you hoping to fight in this area?
Salinas: My last fight was in November last year against Melissa St. Vil defending my UBF world title successfully. I plan on fighting April 9th. Since I reside in Providence now I'm really looking forward to developing a fan base in the area, I'm surrounded by great people and I'm building a strong team to do so.
Pattee Mak: For the ones that need to know details and may not know that your partner is Shelly [Vincent], I’m sure some acquiring minds want to know how the two of you met and progressed as a couple.
Salinas: My whole life I've always known I've had an intense attraction towards women, I was convinced I was a bad kid due to the rapes, I thought I was just perverted and possessed by the devil for liking girls. I attempted to live a normal life, got married at a young age and I'm currently a mother of 4 wonderful kids. (Divorced) I've been dating Shelly for about 6 months now and enjoying my true identity, I realized that my happiness is important to be a better person and a better mother. I truly believe that she is my soul mate and I thank God for her every day.
I was supposed to fight Shelly last year, for some reason the fight didn't come through but we started talking on facebook, one thing lead to another and now we have big plans for the future. We live together, train together spar and work each other’s corners at our fights. We have nights where we just cry on each other’s shoulders in the dark and know exactly what the other is feeling. We share many things in common and know that we can do so much together not only for each other but for many women and kids that have been through what we have been through. Boxing has saved our lives and brought us together.
Pattee Mak: Thanks for taking the time to complete this interview. A special thanks goes to Shelly for making this interview possible.
Salinas: Thank you for allowing me to share my story with your listeners.
Follow Salinas on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Salinas-the-Bolivian-Queen-197366683625688/?fref=ts