SEASON 1 - THE CHAMPIONS
In this episode I give you the chance to listen in on a long awaited heartfelt reunion with one of my favorite former fighters 2 X World Champion, television show host, realty TV star Jennifer Salinas. In todays episode Jen and I share the inside story of her rise to fame, the incredible circumstances we shared together preparing for and at her first world title fight and the moments that changed Jens life forever. (See full show review below)
LEADERS: This is an honest, heartfelt story of overcoming adversity and making sure you surround yourself with the right people.
Key Takeaways and notable quotes
[3:30] “Fight, fail, learn, win, teach.”
[7:40] “Its not about gender, it’s really about your passion.”
[14:07] “You get these opportunities to serve other people by helping them see their own personal greatness.”
[19:15] “Life will deliver you into opportunities.”
[25:30] “Its a lot of sacrifice.”
[29:15] “Oz never gave anything to the tin-man.”
Jacki Nava Fight Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZT1eGW-u
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On today’s episode, Coach Bruce interviews Jennifer Salinas aka La Reina Bolivian (The Bolivian Queen). Jennifer is the an actress, TV show host, and former 2 X World Champion boxer in the Super Bantamweight class. Jennifer has a long lasting relationship with Coach Bruce going way back which shows deeply in their interview today.
Jennifer is 36 years old, and has been involved in many sports as well and cheerleading and dancing. However, she confesses that she has a special connection with boxing. Jennifer goes into her history of sexual abuse, drug abuse, and hanging around the wrong crowd. Jennifer says that boxing helped her release her emotional pain by taking the physical pain in the ring. Boxing helped to distract her from thoughts of suicide.
At the ripe age of 19, Jennifer started out with amateur boxing. Being a male dominated sport, Jennifer talks about the rejection she faced and how she pushed through it all to make some of her male competitors quit even. She worked her way up to become a Golden Gloves Champion. Shortly after, she got the attention of Floyd Mayweather Sr. who took her to Las Vegas with him after a boxing match. Leaving two children to follow her dream and be trained by one of the greats. Despite her best efforts, she was dropped by Mayweather shortly after breaking her hand in a fight.
Bruce entered Jennifer’s picture soon after. Bruce reflects on a phone call very shortly after he began training her who requested that Jennifer fight for the WBF World Title. However, during that time in her career, she did not want to take the shot. Jennifer remembers the conversation were Coach Bruce threatened to drop her if she didn’t take the fight. Coach Bruce only ever wanted her to be the best. After death threats and hatred from her family in the walk out of the locker room, Jennifer fought Jackie Nava, one of the best pound for pound fighters in her weight class. Jennifer fought a competitive match for 10 rounds with Jackie. Jennifer reflects on needed to face her fears to achieve her greatness.
Bruce talks about what it was like to see not just what Jennifer was, but what it was to take pride in knowing what she could be. Although she lost by decision, Jennifer realized that she could be the fighter that Coach Bruce wanted her to be. Jennifer learned how to use her past and her emotions to train for her next matches. Coach Bruce reflected on the Jackie Nava fight and how he noticed the change in Jennifer and the crowd.
Bruce tells about the day of the weigh-in for the Jackie Nava fight. The day of the weigh-in, Jennifer was still 8lbs overweight. The two remember how they heated the gym up, put blankets on her, and ran her in order to get her to lose water weight. Jennifer remembers how much Coach Bruce and cut-man Tony put her though in order to make weight and make the fight. Jennifer references the sacrifices required in order to be at that level of greatness.
Jennifer makes it clear that while the fighter shines during the fight, it is extremely important to have a great team around you in order to make it. She confesses that Coach Bruce was so much more than just a trainer, he was a counselor for her that helped her learn to use her past.
Coach Bruce and Jennifer talk about the importance of overcoming fears and about the hundreds of reasons that Jennifer had to hold her back. Coach Bruce talks about how inspiring Jennifer’s truly story is. Jennifer learned how to take her past and use it as fuel to propel her to her greatness. Jennifer says that the little girl she was is always with her.
Jennifer remembers the times when she had put her boxing career on hold and the emotional time she had trying to getting back to the ring after taking a job where she was asked to clean a boxing gym. Jennifer did what she had to do for her family and herself. Pushing through immense pressure to fight her way back to the ring and eventually to the championship.
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