It is hard not to be thrown back when in the presence of a giant.
Most people would be afraid seeing this man infront of them. But once you look up, you see a big heartwarming smile looking back down on you. You might even say he is a gentle giant, welcoming you with open arms and full of kind words to say, greeting you as a close friend. But that all changes when Stan Ahumadasteps into the ring. His quick fierce punches seem to break the sound barrier, reminding you of Ali in his glory days. His ferocious attitude that is contagious, makes you want to hit the gym right there with him. You will see him in training almost non-stop, and always pushes himself to the very limit. Stan is the type of fighter that looks like he was born to do this, and it is no longer a dream, as he is about the make his professional debut as a boxer.
Boxing is one of the most mentally demanding sports, as usually the biggest enemy we have is the one between our own two ears. Stan has gone through alot of setbacks not only in his career, but also daily life, yet he always fought through them and has become the personification of a champion. We caught up with Stan to see how he is feeling and preparing for this huge milestone in his career.
Stan Surmacz Ahumada
Home town: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Sport: Professional Boxing
Fighting Style: Switch Hitter
1) Thank you for sitting down with Flow Performance Stanley! You recently made the decision to turn professional, and have your first fight coming up. Walk us through your decision to make that step, and how do you feel going in?
Pleasure to have this opportunity to answer some questions! The decision to turn professional really was a hard decision for me, one that I would think about daily for almost a year. I had dreams of being an Olympian and I knew that was within arms reach, but having to sit out a year due to shoulder surgery gave me time to think and once I came back and regained confidence in throwing punches without thinking about re-injuring I knew I was ready to take my skills on a professional level for the world to see. I really wanted to showcase my talent and becoming a professional was the best way of doing that while getting rewarded at the same time. Yeah it was an extremely tough decision because the amateur program taught me so much and being an Olympian would be a dream come true but I made a grown up decision for what's best for me and it was a decision I'm happy with and confident with.
2) How are you preparing for the event (mentally and physically)? What are some challenges and setbacks? What are some of your strategies that you utilize in your daily routines and training?
This one was a different process as opposed to going into an amateur fight. In an amateur fight I would always tell myself to just go in and do it just do what you do and what happens happens. This time it's different because it's a big stage with all my friends and family watching plus I recently recovered from a successful heart ablation for svt., plus its been a little over a year since my shoulder surgey so with all this going on there was alot of second guessing myself whether I was ready or whether I could continue my life as an athlete. Those were my setbacks but in hindsight I believe it contributes towards molding me into the fighter I am today. Fighting with a bad shoulder all those years taught me learn a new stance from orthodox to southpaw and knowing that I was almost a national champion in a stance I got use to in less than a year really gave me confidence and recovering from a heart ablation made me realize that I pretty much got a second chance to do what I do. I look at everything as a blessing in disguise. Yeah it sucked at the time but it taught me valuable lessons. that helped me gain confidence and now being 100% healthy it excites me to see what I can do and I want to fight the best. So really for me it was encountering set backs and overcoming them that motivate me and gives me a good state of mind where I know I'm ready. This time going into my first professional fight I'm excited I'm not nervous at all. I can't wait to show people that hey I didn't give up I fought back and that gave me the chance to keep on fighting. so I think that's what gives me the mental edge. knowing I have been through a lot and always seem to bounce back.Meditation really helps me too being all over the place with training I need that time to wind down and give myself some me time. Training hard daily always helps me mentally to know that I'm ready I'm in good shape and I'm not going to get tired in there. if you put in the work you'll be confident come fight night.
3) How important are mental skills to your performance? Are there any specific skills that you employ in your training and fighting, such as goal-setting or emotional control?
I think mental skills are really important not just in boxing but in every sport. I'm really big into goal setting. Timing my runs and making sure I'm able to beat my times let's me know I'm conditioned and prepared, making sure I'm throwing more punches per round towards the end of a training than I did in the beginning goes a long way mentally for me. Emotionally I gotta stay relaxed if I get angry in sparring and try to hurt the guy I'm sparring that doesn't help me or him. So being relaxed teaches me that there's a time to let your hands fly and go in for the kill but being relaxed allows me to pick my punches and when the opportunity comes to land big blows. You seize it slowly but surely it will come and fighting mad or angry won't help get me there. just keeping a cool head at all times goes a long way.
4) What do you think of the current state of the 'sweet science', and what do you think you can bring to the sport? Where do you see yourself long-term?
I think the sweet science is coming back to life. they are still making boxing movies, there's many big fights coming up that are action packed people are still interested and gaining more interest daily, kids are still going through the amateurs and as long as the kids are still doing it, there will always be a future for the sport. I think I can bring excitement to the heavyweight division being a fast hard hitting switch hitter who moves well. Should be fun to see! Back in the day who ever had the prestigious heavyweight title was the baddest man on the planet and right now the heavyweight division is on the rise with many good heavyweights around the world and when the time comes for them to clash with eachother it will definitely be exciting and I hope to be a part of the excitement. Just gotta take it one fight at a time till I get there. Longterm I see myself fighting for the heavyweight title. It will take time to get there but god willing i stay healthy then it's just a matter of time.
5) Lastly, what advice would you give to people that are in pursuit of their goals or might be facing some sort of adversity?
To the people pursuing their goals my advice is to be patient. Keep working towards your goals but know that it takes time and you have to commit yourself to the grind daily. There were times where I felt like quitting but I always in my mind hand the big picture and I couldn't live with myself if I never pursued my dreams and spend the rest of my life wondering what if and when facing adversity just remember that it's a learning experience, it's molding you into the person you need to be to handle what's coming your way. Bumps in the road are all part of getting to where you want to be. A quote that really sticks with me especially when I'm down in a rut is "it takes 6 months to build a rolls royce and 13 hours to build a Toyota". Patience my friends patience.
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I wish you the best of luck in your career!