Heavyweight Prospect Travis Kauffman Talks Past, Future, Heavyweight Division, and more!
By Vivek Wallace - Saturday night, heavyweight contender Travis Kauffman returns to the ring in Reading, Pennsylvania, against veteran Chris Koval. The young heavyweight prospect sat down recently and spoke to Eastside Boxing about his pending showdown, as well as the heavyweight division. Here's what he had to say:
Article posted on 22.05.2010
VW: With fight night only a few days away, how did everything in training camp go?
TK: Training has been great. Been kickin' ass in the gym....you know....everything is just going great. I'm just ready for the fight.
VW: Last time out you faced, Mike Miller. Interesting fight.....wicked shot to the body in the 6th round, in particular. But, how would you rate your performance in that particular fight?
TK: As far as the performance itself, it was OK. I prepared for Billy Lawrence, then he pulled out, so I said OK, it's all good. I give myself a "C" for that performance. I boxed well, I worked behind my jab, I wasn't going out there to just look for the knockout, so it was some good rounds, but I would rate my performance a "C".
VW: OK, going back a little further in the past....two fights ago, you stepped in the ring with Tony Grano...most had you winning at the time of stoppage. Gimme your thoughts on that whole fiasco.
TK: I actually watched that fight again for the 3rd time today in the last month, month and a half, and I was talking to a few buddies today. I mean, I was outclassing Grano. A lot of people thought I was getting tired....I didn't get tired until after I got hit below the belt. Once I got hit with the low blow, everything went down hill. My stamina, everything went downhill. Once I got hit low, I started fighting with anger, which was me fighting with my heart instead of my head. I learned a lesson from that. You can't let fouls get to you. Intentional, accidental, whatever. I knew it was intentional which is why I responded the way I did. I lost the fight fair and square, but I thought the referee was supposed to ask "do you need time to recover"? He just said "are you OK to fight"? On adrenaline, I said hell yeah. But it ended the way it did, and everything happens for a reason. Real fighters get up and come back. I'm fighting Saturday against Chris Koval, which is where my focus is.
VW: You said something a minute ago that solidified something that I've always felt, and that's the fact that the fight game is ALL mental. The split second you let a foul - be it intentional or unintentional - distract you, your ability went out the window and you ended up losing the fight as a result. I think that's what separates the Hopkins', the Mayweather's, and many other champions of today and I think that's a very valuable lesson to learn at this stage in your career. Moving on, though.....with a victory Saturday night over Chris Koval....what next? Any path in particular you plan to pursue, or is it basically gonna be a sit back and watch to 'see-what-materializes' type thing?
TK: First things first. Once we get beyond Koval, (and i do have confidence I'll beat him. If you don't, you shouldn't be in this game); but he's a good challenger. He was able to knock down Dimitrenko in the first round before losing on points. I'm just focusing on getting better. I'm the youngest heavyweight prospect out there. Many people try to write you off after one loss and my job is to show them why I believe in myself.
VW: Looking around the sport in your division, there are a number of interesting role players. I'm gonna say a couple names, I'd like to get your thoughts.....David Haye
TK: Fast hands. Explosive.....for 4 to 5 rounds.
VW: Vitali Klitschko
TK: Best in the world.....besides me!
VW: Chris Arreola
TK: Tough son of a bitch with the biggest heart in the world.
VW: OK, before we shut it down, I'd like to get your final thoughts on Saturday night.
TK: Well, I'm gonna go out, and feel Koval out over the 1st round. After that I'm gonna take him into deep water and see if he can swim. I guess we'll find out.
VW: And last but not least....final thoughts for the readers out there at Eastside Boxing.
TK: I know some have written me off, and I don't know if it's because of the one loss or what, but I'm the youngest heavyweight prospect out there. Some have gotten down on me after the one loss, but it's time to get them back on the bandwagon! I plan to start Saturday night.
[Kauffman's mission convenes Saturday evening in Reading, Pennsylvania.....Eastside Boxing would like to wish him the best of luck]
Travis Kauffman Weighs 224, Chris Koval 258, Van Oscar Penovaroff 136, Travis Thompson 135
Reading, PA (May 21, 2010) - Travis Kauffman and Chris Koval were in peak condition at the weigh-in for their fight Saturday night at the Sovereign Center in Reading, PA. Kauffman, 19-1 (15 KO), of Reading, PA weighed in at 224 while Koval, 24-6 (18 KO), of Youngstown, OH weighed in at 258. The Kauffman-Koval fight is scheduled for eight rounds and will be contested for the WBF Intercontinental Heavyweight title. King's Promotions will promote this fight as part of "Pain on Penn Street".
"I'm ready to take care of business tomorrow night," says the hometown favorite Kauffman. "I am the future of the heavyweight division but I have to worry about right now and that's Chris Koval. Koval has only lost to the best fighters he's fought so I have to exceed those expectations."
Koval is used to taking fights on short notice but for this fight he had time to prepare for a full training camp. Koval is hungry to rejuvenate his career with a big win.
"I really want this fight," Koval told the Reading Eagle. "It would rekindle my whole career."
In the co-featured bout, Van Oscar Penovaroff, 4-0-1 (3 KO), of Reading, PA by way of Kailua Kona, HI weighed in at 136 while Travis Thompson, 3-6-1 (2 KO) of Pottstown, PA weighed in at 136. Penovaroff was a 2004 US Olympic alternate and a former mixed martial arts world champion with the Hawaiian-based X-1 outfit. Penovaroff-Thompson is scheduled for four-rounds.
The rest of the combatants will weigh in tomorrow night. The professional portion of the card is rounded out by Derrick Webster (5-0, 4 KO) of Glassboro, NJ against Emmanuel Gonzalez (9-7, 4 KO) of San Juan Puerto Rico in a six-round super-middleweight bout and the pro debuts of Hassan Lee of Philadelphia, PA against William Miranda of Allentown, PA in a four-round heavyweight bout.
Six amateur bouts will also take place featuring the best amateurs in the state.
Tickets, priced at $65, $50, $35 and $25, are on sale now and can be purchased at Kingsboxing.com, the Sovereign Center Box Office at 700 Penn Street in Reading (610-898-7200) and at all Ticketmaster outlets (ticketmaster.com).
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