Boxing

Heavyweight On The Rise: Travis Kauffman Speaks

Kessler vs WardBy Vivek Wallace: Tonight, on Showtime at 11pm est, heavyweight contender Travis Kauffman steps into the ring with fellow contender Tony Grano. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Travis about his upcoming fight, as well as the heavyweight division, and the sport of boxing in general. Here's what the rising star had to say:

VW: OK, Travis, let's get right down to business, my man. You have a fight coming up. How'd camp play out?

TK: Camp was spectacular, Vivek. I was able to get some great work in with world class contender Matt Godfrey, who was actually training in the same gym as my opponent, Tony Grano.. I don't think Grano wanted to spar with him, so I said "hey Matt, you need to get in some work, I need to get in some work; Why don't you come on up"?,and he did. Our last day of sparring we did 13 rounds straight. I'm at 224lbs right now, which is a great weight for me. Things are going the way they're supposed to be going now.

VW: Your opponent, Tony Grano, comes into this fight with a record of 15-1, 12KO's, which is very solid. What are your thoughts on him?

TK: I've known Grano from our amateur days. He came along real quick. Not superb from a skills standpoint, but he's a tough S.O.B. I've seen him get dropped, get up, and knock people out, so he definitely comes to fight. But I don't plan to give him a punchers chance. Hes gonna get his shots but I have to show him who's the better man.

VW: Now, one of the things that I've always thought about you at a distance is that, categorically, you're one of those fighters that would be a bit difficult to be a match-maker for. As a match-maker, you never wanna move a young guy who's developing along too fast, but every time they put a guy in a similar stage who's developing as well in front of you, you pull the curtains fast by putting him on his back. Has it been hard for your match-makers to find you the right opposition to help you develop, yet not be too far established?

TK: My job as a fighter is always to just get in the ring and fight. I don't care who they put in front of me. Since my 14-month layoff, my streak has been 8 KO's, so I just wanna keep that streak moving, but the end goal is to get the "W", regardless of who they put in front of me and I don't plan to change that.

VW: When you look around at today's heavyweight division, what are your thoughts?

TK: Theres a lot of guys in the mix, but I'm not sure that all of them are totally relevant. (David) Haye I liked a lot as a cruiserweight, but he has yet to face a legitimate heavyweight so the jury is still out on him. Arreola, he's a good friend of mine. A very, very exciting fighter to watch. I can tell you that this fight against Vitali-K that he has coming up, he will probably be in the best condition that you've ever seen him in. Another guy I like a lot is Chambers. Most people want to see the KO's, so they don't give him his respect, but if you're a fan of boxing, Chambers is a perfect style to see somebody box the piss out of someone. Super fast hands, defense is very good, and he has great mechanics.

VW: OK...Now, there are a few fights coming up that I'd like to get your thoughts on. I'll throw 'em out, you dice 'em up. David Haye/Nikolay Valuev?

TK: Personally, I'm not a fan of that fight at all. I'll say Haye.

VW: Floyd Mayweather/Juan Manuel Marquez.

TK: Mayweather! Marquez will come out strong, but after Mayweather shakes the ring rust, I think he executes and stops Marquez by round 11.

VW: OK, the 'granddaddy' of them all. Pacquiao/Cotto.

TK: I think Pacquiao will find a way again to shock the world. Cotto's feet are too slow. Don't get me wrong, Cottos chin is much better than it was at 140, and although Margarito defeated him, he was never really wobbled in that fight like we saw him against 'Chop-Chop' and some of those guys earlier in his career. But I think that if Pacquiao can avoid the bombs and go the distance, I think his speed will be the difference and he'll win on points.

VW: Good stuff, Travis. Interesting thought process there. Before we end this segment, do you have any parting thoughts for the fans out there.

TK: Thanks for the support, keep supporting, and keep watching.

Article posted on 19.09.2009



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