Quick Chat with Kevin Montano

Jan. 11, 2018, 11:17 a.m. (ET)

After reaching the finals of the 2017 USA Boxing Elite National Championships, Concord, Calif. native Kevin Montano punched his ticket onto USA Boxing’s High Performance Squad, giving him the opportunity to come to the Olympic Training Center for training camps, as well as the chance to represent Team USA in international competitions. We recently caught up with him following his first few days at his first ever training camp.

You are in Colorado at the Olympic Training Center for the first time. What were your feelings before coming?


Before coming to the Olympic Training Center I did not know what to expect, but I was extremely excited to train alongside the best boxers in the United States. I was also amazed that I would have the opportunity to eat, live and work side by side with past and future Olympians from all Olympic sports. I had nothing but positive feelings for this trip.


What are your expectations for this camp and what are you hoping to get out of it?

My expectations for this camp were to learn an abundance of new skills, work out routines and methods of taking proper care of my body to maximize my performance. I am hoping to leave this camp having sparred most of the top boxers in the nation to improve my skill level and be well prepared for my international debut in March. I am also hoping to fix most of the mistakes I commit when I compete and evolve overall as a boxer.


This past weekend you had to do the Manitou Incline; what was that like for you?

Before the Manitou Incline I had never seen so many stairs and such a steep hike in my life. When I first laid my eyes on the incline and my teammates told me that was what we were climbing, I knew it was going to be rough. I could not even see the top from the start. I pushed through the incline the whole way as fast as I could without stopping but it did have me out of breath from the start. I managed to complete it in 35 minutes and I felt like that was the hardest run I ever accomplished.


What has been the biggest change from training at home to training here?

The biggest change by far is having the luxury of having coaches to help correct my mistakes every day. My coaches Gary Sullenger and Juan Arias taught me everything I know and made me the boxer I am today. However, I moved away from my home gym to pursue higher education at Sacramento State and I have to train myself every day. I forget how useful it is to have an extra pair of eyes watching you and catching every mistake as well as telling you how to fix it immediately. Whenever I can, I visit my home gym where my coaches do fix my mistakes and they are always there for me, but it is not the same as having someone watching you closely every single day of training.

What are you looking forward to the most the rest of your time at the OTC?

I am looking forward to getting in the best shape of my life through the rigorous training at the OTC and high elevation of Colorado Springs. I also look forward to sparring with other countries and adapting to foreign styles of boxing.


What have you enjoyed the most about your first training camp so far?

I have enjoyed sparring against our nation’s top boxers, the strenuous training set for us,  and, of course, the unlimited buffet in the dining hall!