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TRAVIS KAUFFMAN: “I Would KO Seth Mitchell Within Four Rounds”

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TRAVIS KAUFFMANKauffman has been beset by injuries recently, but is hoping he can stay healthy, and get a breakthrough shot, to show the world, and himself, that he is top grade stuff.

He believes he is the best American heavyweight out there, and thinks he was getting close to the point where he was going to prove that…but then Travis Kauffman hurt his hand, and needed surgery to heal the break. So his progress was stalled, and that was frustrating. Add to that the stress that comes with being in a sport where only about 1% of the participants make enough to give themself a nest egg to fall back on if they get hurt and can't fight for a spell, and you get a better sense of how hard it is to get ahead in this unforgiving sport.

Off since last August, Kauffman gets back in the ring on Aug. 11 in Temple, PA, against 19-22-3 Arizonan Charles Davis.

The 26 year-old hitter from Reading, PA, who holds a 22-1 mark, with 17 KOs, told TSS he had hand woes since he was an amateur. Now a pro for six years, he was pumped to show the world that his lone loss, to Tony Grano back in 2009, was an aberration. He set his sights on marquee name Seth Mitchell, flavor of the month for awhile now. “Team Mitchell offered me a fight about two months before I had my surgery, I accepted $20,000 less than anyone else,” Kauffman told me, “and then three days later his people called to say they didn't want to fight me. Then the day I had my hand surgery they called to fight me but I had to turn it down due to the surgery.” (Some specifics on the hand injury: “They had to take out some arthritis, take out some loose bone fragments, shave down a calcium deposit (bone spur) and fuse my bones together because my joint was badly damaged. The first surgery was October 7th which was unsuccessful, then the second was January 26.”)

Kauffman told me he thinks Mitchell (age 30; lives in Maryland; 25-0-1 with 19 KOs), the former footballer at Michigan State, was lucky to have tapped Chazz Witherspoon instead of him in April.

“Chazz had him out on his feet and Chazz is no puncher,” Kauffman said. “If Chazz would have been a good finisher and didn't blow his load he would have been done it. I think Seth is very strong and straight forward, he works hard but he's a football player, not a boxer. He is willing to die on a field, not in a ring and I believe that's what seperates him from a real fighter.”

Kauffman doesn't think all that much of the Golden Boy prospect, sounds like. “He fights like he is getting ready to tackle someone,” he said. “Can he punch? Absolutely, but you can't hit what you can't see and I'll box circles around him and KO him within four rounds. Like I said he is a football player, I wish him the best in his career but he's no top boxer. He got as far as he did because of Al Haymon. Name one football player who became a great boxer. Don't worry, I'll wait for your answer,” he says, with a chuckle.

A broken foot postponed Kauffman's comeback, so it has been awhile since he gloved up. An August 2011 TKO1 win over Sean Williams means he's been off for a year now. He admits being on the shelf can be mentally draining. “Sometimes it's very frustrating and depressing because for I have a family to feed, I have a fiancee and five kids and boxing is what paid the bills.I've tried not to let it get to me because I know God has a plan for me.”

No, Kauffman is not at the top of a short list if you are polling pundits to determine who they think the best US heavy is; but as it should be, he believes he is. “I do believe I am the best American heavyweight. Yes, I do believe I'm the best American heavyweight fighter; if I don't believe in myself who else will?”?

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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