by Jim McGrady
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Travis Kauffman. Travis is a 20-1 (16 KO’s) heavyweight from Reading, Pennsylvania and he’s been seen on Showbox. He’s currently in training for a bout on November 27 and he’s also the father of four, so we appreciate him taking the time from his busy schedule to speak with The Boxing Tribune.
The Boxing Tribune: Accoding to Boxrec.com, your next bout is just over a month away against Julius Long, how’s training coming along for that fight so far?
Travis Kauffman: Well, as for the fight with me and Julius Long, there is nothing official until the contract is signed, you know how boxing goes. I’m still scheduled to fight on November 27 in Pittsburgh, Pa. so I’m training my ass off, no matter who my opponent is.
BT: The last two years you’re fighting a few pounds lighter than before. Was that a conscious decision to fight lighter, or was it a change in training methods or habits that caused that?
TK: The reason I’ve been lighter is due to my hard work and dedication. The problem with heavyweights is that they think “well shit, I’m a heavyweight so I can weigh whatever I want”. Well thats not the case, at least for me its not. I feel comfortable around 225 to 235 even though I haven’t been in the 240’s for a few years. I’m getting older now, so I know I wont see 221 anymore more, ha ha.
BT: You’re a pretty active boxer, normally fighting every three or four months. Is it difficult to stay mentally focused when you’re fighting that often? Is it difficult to stay in fighting shape physically?
TK: To be honest it is difficult to stay mentally focused when you’re only making enough money to get by. I’m still only making enough to pay my bills and take care of my kids. There are times I wanna go out and work a regular 9-5 job, but I know I wouldn’t be able to focus 100% when its time to start training for a fight. Truthfully, I think boxing itself is a mentally draining sport. You get no breaks, its not a season sport like the football, basketball, etc. Its tough and there are a limited few that can do it.
BT: Your only loss so far was to New Englander Tony Grano last year. We know you were looking for a rematch with Grano, any progress with that?
TK: The loss to Tony Grano was very depressing because prior to that fight I was guarunteed hundreds of thousands of dollars for my next fight and my kids would have been set and we would’ve been able to move out of the city. What was even more depressing was that Al Haymon turned his back on me after that loss. I know it’s a business, but it’s not like Tony Grano destroyed me. I was beating him every round and he got lucky by out smarting me and fighting dirty. It just shows who are real in this sport and that’s why I stick with my father (trainer Marshall Kauffman). I’m not saying anything bad about Al Haymon, he’s a very succesful business man, but he could’ve given me another shot or given me the rematch with Grano and then, if I had lost again gotten, rid of me. I just felt betrayed. I offered Tony Grano the rematch numerous times, it’s all over the internet and youtube. At first he complained that he wasn’t going to get enough money so I offered to give him my purse and fight him for free. He turned that offer down, obviously he was scared. It wasn’t about the money. His trainer Lou Delvalle and promoter Bob Duffy both told me that in our bout Grano wanted to quit after the 3rd round, but they motivated him to go back out for the 4th. Lucky for him that he did. I take nothing away from Tony Grano, except the fact that if you feel you can truly beat me then fight me again, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain especially after he just got KO’d by that bum Nikolai Firtha. Fighting him for free and giving him my purse is out the door now, but a rematch is still open if he wants it.
BT: You recently called out Antonio Tarver on your Facebook page, what did you think of Tarver’s heavyweight debut Friday night and has there been anything set in motion to set that fight up?
TK: Tarver looked terrible against Nagy Aguilera, whom I KO’d in the 2004 PAL National Championships in 15 seconds of the first round with bigger gloves and a headgear, then in his hometown (when he was living in Puerto Rico) and beat Nagy again badly to win the 2005 Jose “Cheo” Aponte Tournament. The score for that fight was 37-14. Tarver doesn’t belong at heavyweight.
BT: Besides Tarver, is there anyone else you have your sights set on after your next bout is out of the way?
TK: I would love to fight Chris Arreola. We’re good friends, but this is a business. I can outbox him, we’ve sparred a thousand times. To beat him you just need to be a man in better shape which normally is anyone, ha ha.
BT: Besides being a fighter, you’re also a father. Have any of your children approached you about boxing, what would your feelings be on your kids getting in the ring?
TK: Being a father is more important then boxing. I’m a father of four: a 10 year old, Julius, a nine year old daughter, Nevaeh and my two biological boys, Travis Jr., who’s four and Christian who’s one and a half. Julius wants to box and he’s been training but I dont push the issue. I tell him if he wants to box, then he has to take it seriously and if he doesn’t, than I wont allow him to box. Travis and Christian both throw punches and mess around but Christian is most likely going to be the fighter. I never babied him so he is a little tougher than Travis, I babied him so he’s a little softer, but he’s got a huge right hand.
Travis, thank you very much for your time. The Boxing Tribune would like to wish you the best of luck in your upcoming bout and we hope to see you on Showbox again in the future.