Reading, PA- The first event to feature boxing and mixed martial arts on the same card in Pennsylvania was a resounding success for King’s Promotions Saturday night. Nearly 2000 paying customers were on hand at the Sovereign Center in Reading, PA to watch local heavyweight prospect Travis Kauffman raise his record to 17-0 (14 KO) against dangerous trial horse Livin Castillo of Ecuador, now 14-7 (9 KO)..
Travis Kauffman entered Saturday’s bout against Castillo looking to make a statement to the boxing world. When referee Gary Rosato waived the bout off at 1:26 of the third round, Kauffman accomplished the feat in emphatic fashion. Castillo had only been bested by the elite level of fighters he has faced but never had he been taken out so quickly. The previous record was set by former heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev, who needed 1:30 of the third to get the job done. At 23 years old, Kauffman has yet to reach his physical prime, suggesting that the best is yet to come.
Kauffman, who weighed in at a career low 220.5, made his first appearance in his hometown of Reading since making his national television debut earlier this year a memorable affair. Castillo, 210.5, was the first southpaw opponent Kauffman had faced as a pro and made the first round close with his awkward style.
Kauffman made a key adjustment in the second round when he switched to southpaw as well and began working effectively behind a right jab. A number of right hooks and solid body shots followed that began to sap the desire from the fighter known as “La Maquina”. “Once I switched up my stance, he couldn’t hit me,” Kauffman later recalled.
The conclusion came as the result of a hard right hook to the body that echoed with a resounding effect throughout the arena. The referee took note of the pained expression on Castillo and decided he could not continue.
Kauffman has now won his last seven bouts by knockout with none of them lasting more than three rounds. “The day I stop learning is the day I stop fighting,” says Kauffman.
Matthews Terrorizes Pasley Over 8
In the co-featured bout, Julio Cesar Matthews of Reading, PA by way of Harrisburg overcame a closed right eye to score a unanimous decision win over Kamarah Pasley of Philadelphia. Matthews, 8-0 (5 KO), scored a knockdown at the end of the second with a right hook and followed up with one more in the third. An accidental headbutt stemmed the tide when Matthews’ right eye began to swell grotesquely. Pasley took advantage and got on the scoreboard with a solid fourth. Courageously, Matthews battled back to regain control of the fight in the fifth and dominated the final round with a series of solid punches from his southpaw stance.
The scores were 58-54, 59-53 and 59-52. Pasley, who had won four straight heading into the bout, drops to 4-4 (2 KO) with the defeat.
Tomlinson Returns with Win over Felton
Heavyweight favorite Craig Tomlinson of Reading won a four round unanimous decision over Jonathon Felton in his first fight in over five years. Tomlinson, aged 42, was the aggressor throughout the fight and never gave up the initiative. An accidental headbutt that caused a cut under Tomlinson’s left eye was the only abrasion visible on Tomlinson as he raised his record to 24-15-1 (13 KO) while dropping Felton to 6-15 (5 KO). The scores were 40-36 across the board.
Rodriguez Repeats Victory Over Thompson in Rematch
Proving that his too-close-for-comfort win over Travis Thompson in September was no fluke, Esteban Rodriguez raised his record to 5-1 (1 KO) with his unanimous decision over the now 3-6-1 (2 KO) Thompson. Thompson lived up to his nickname “The Animal” by aggressively pursuing the better skilled Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s faster hands and sharper combinations won over the judges, with scores of 40-36 being turned in on two cards and 39-37 coming in on the third.
Cruz Blows Away Allen
Ronald Cruz needed just 1 round, three minutes, to knock out Norman Allen. Cruz, now 5-0 (3 KO), blasted out the Laurel, MD resident who now has a record of 6-2 (3 KO) with a vicious assault along the ropes. Cruz, a Bethlehem, PA native, shined brightly in his first step-up fight.