Interview by Ken Hissner
Reading, PA, heavyweight Travis “My Time” Kauffman, 30-1 (22 ko’s), reached the age of 30 in August and is about to meet his toughest opponent in Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, 36-4-1 (31), of Escondido, CA. who is 34 and been there and done that and is back again.
They meet on December 12th at the AT & T Center in San Antonio, TX, over NBC where 16 bouts are scheduled. Their fight should be one of two prior to the main event along with a bout between heavyweights Charles Martin, 22-0-1 who is No. 2 WBO and No. 4 IBF and prospect Dominic Breazeale, 16-0. Both bouts are under the main event of a pair of former WBC lightweight champions in Omar Figureola, Jr., and Antonio DeMarco.
Kauffman had been in the rankings before injuries brought about inactivity and dropping out of those rankings. Arreola is back in the rankings in the WBC at No. 13. Kauffman and Arreola have been in camp together when Arreola was more active and ranked bringing Kauffman into camp for sparring and became friends. But it’s a business and these two have an opportunity for exposure. Arreola has fought for the WBC title twice and the WBC Silver title once losing all three.
After being off for 19 months since having his third 10 rounder of his career Kauffman came back in August and September scoring stoppages in the first and second rounds. His two other 10 round bouts were with Chris Koval, 24-6 and in his lone defeat against Tony Grano, then 15-1-1 when Kauffman got driven into a corner and the back of his head ran into a cameraman which would eventually cause the stoppage of the fight back in 2009. His 8 fight knockout streak was ended. He has since won 12 straight with 7 by stoppage.
Kauffman defeated Vincent Thompson then 13-1, and Malachy Farrell then 16-1. He’s won about a dozen fights either in Reading or nearby. His last two fights were in Atlantic City. Being his father is a promoter with Kings Promotions, and a past trainer and manager he’s had first-hand experience since starting to box at age 9 and compiled a 56-12 amateur record. He was a 2004 PAL champion among numerous titles he has won. He has trained at Muhammad Ali’s Deer Lake camp and recently in Texas at an undisclosed site.
The 6:03 Kauffman has exceptional good boxing skills and isn’t afraid to mix it up as his 22 knockouts in 30 wins shows. He’s sparred with Amir Mansour and others. His father, Naazim Richardson and former cruiserweight champion Al Cole have served as trainers. Though he hasn’t fought in Texas he has had 3 fights in California and 2 in Nevada.
This writer has met Kauffman on many occasions and he is a very personable and respectful young man. Through his father Marshall I have been able to ask Travis some questions of his upcoming bout with Arreola.
KEN HISSNER: Who is your current trainer and how long have you been in camp?
TRAVIS KAUFFMAN: Naazim Richardson and he will continue to be my head trainer from here on out.
KEN HISSNER: If I am not correct I believe I met Chris Arreola at one of your fights in PA.
TRAVIS KAUFFMAN: Yes that is correct. Chris is a personal friend of mine and came to Reading, PA, to support me.
KEN HISSNER: Arreola hasn’t looked like the fighter of old in his last two fights but promises to come in shape for this bout knowing how good you are. Do you think your sparring with him in the past is an advantage?
TRAVIS KAUFFMAN: I believe Chris will be in shape but he has had his opportunity and didn’t respect this sport or his body and he’s made that obvious and now it is My-Time….sparring Chris don’t really give me an edge because sparring and fighting are two different things, we are wearing smaller gloves and no headgear.
KEN HISSNER: I believe calling you up to this point an underachiever is a tag you want to rid yourself of. Do you think this fight with Arreola No. 13 in the WBC will get you back into the rankings?
TRAVIS KAUFFMAN: I think it should and Chris has beat top fighters and very tough S.O.B. He has deserved everything he has gotten in his career because he came up the hard way, but as I stated earlier he abused his body and didn’t take advantage of his past opportunities. I’m hungry and I want this. It is My-Time to shine and make a mark in this division. Chris only ever lost to 3 former world champions so when I beat Chris I believe that makes a statement and let the world know I belong.
KEN HISSNER: Would you say you are in as good a shape now than you have been in some time?
TRAVIS KAUFFMAN: I’m in great shape and have been training consistently since June. I came into camp in shape and Naazim had to pull me back a bit so I don’t peak too early. I didn’t come to camp to get in shape. I came to get sharp and work on things to beat Chris.
KEN HISSNER: Though they tell me writers are not supposed to be rooting for someone especially if they are covering the bout I will be rooting for you. My middle name is “controversy”! I wish you all the success in the world in the future and thank you for taking the time this close to your upcoming bout.