Frustration? Amir Mansour never knew the true meaning of the word until he tried to tried to capitalize on his March 17 victory over heavyweight hopeful Travis Kauffman.
Mansour’s unanimous 12-round decision victory in Kauffman’s Reading, PA, backyard was nationally televised (Bounce TV) but it did little to create future opportunities for the left-hander from Salem, NJ.
“You’d think I have the plague, the way the other so-called heavyweight contenders are avoiding me,” Mansour said. “Is it my breath or is it my ability? These guys call themselves fighters but when my name comes up in conversation, they act like they have a hearing problem. Why would anyone be afraid of a 44-year-old man?
Originally from Salem, NJ, Mansour now resides in Wilmington, DE. His victory over Kauffman, a fight in which he rallied down the stretch, boosted his record to 23-2-1, 16 K0s, and earned him a No. 15 slot with both the WBO and WBC. Without a fight since, the WBC lowered him to No. 21.
“Who else gets dropped six spaces that quickly,” he asked.
Regarding the win over Kauffman: “It’s a very frustrating and disappointing reality when a fight is made and the winner is said to fight the world (WBC) champion,” Mansour said. “When I fought Travis Kauffman, Deontay Wilder was willing to fight Kauffman. They were sure Kauffman would win but he didn’t. I won that fight but now Wilder doesn’t want to fight me. His last fight was against Gerald Washington, a fighter that 98 percent of the viewers thought I beat (in 2015). The fight was scored a draw. Washington went on to fight Deontay for the title.”
Masnour also talked about his 2014 one-punch knockout of iron-chinned Fred Kassi at the Sands Bethlehem.
“I received the Knockout of the Year mention against Fred Kassi, but he went on to fight Chris Arreola and walked away with a draw. Chris also had a No Contest against Kauffman, a fight in which he was floored. Chris went on to fight Deontay as well. It’s blatant cowardice (on Wilder’s part) if you ask me.”
Promoter J Russell Peltz got a call about a possible July 1 fight in Russia between Mansour and Alexander Povetkin with the stipulation that Mansour get ranked.
“When Mansour landed in the No. 15 slot in both the WBC and the WBO, Povetkin’s people stopped answering the phone,” Peltz said.
Povetkin boxed Andriy Rudenko instead.
“Another no-name,” Mansour said, referring to Rudenko. “Then we tried to get a match in August with Dillian Whyte on the Terence Crawford card in Omaha. That went nowhere. Top Rank told us that Whyte wanted to fight a tall, right-handed guy. What a joke! I also was willing to step in on one week’s notice to fight Fres Oquendo for the WBA title in June when Shannon Briggs failed his test. The promoters canceled the show instead.”
In 26 pro fights, Mansour has lost only to Steve Cunningham, who was on the floor twice, and to Dominic Breazeale, who was on the floor once but won when Mansour suffered a fractured jaw and sliced tongue.
“I am willing to fight any Top 10 heavyweight in the world,” Mansour said, “but it just seems as if all the top heavyweights are fighting bums and no-name fighters.”