One on one with Travis Kauffman
Interview by Kurt Wolfheimer
Photos by Jeff Julian
This Friday (September 18th) at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California, undefeated heavyweight prospect Travis Kauffman (18-0, 15 KOs) will look to make his mark for contendership when he squares off against hard hitting Tony Grano (15-1-1, 12 KOs). If victorious, the fight will take him one step closer to the elite fighter of the heavyweight division. The Kauffman versus Grano showdown will be shown live at 11 pm ET on the Showtime series “ShoBox The New Generation.”
FightNews had the opportunity to speak with the up-and-coming fighter as he broke camp for the biggest fight of his career.
How was training camp?
I feel great and everything has gone as expected and I am ready for Friday night. Camp went extremely well. I put in about fifty rounds of sparring. One day I did fifteen rounds straight with Matt Godfrey. He is a cruiserweight who is extremely fast. Matt is at a higher level than I am right now and is much more experienced. He really gave me some good work.
Did you have any other sparring partners?
I have sparred with Dayton Wheeler, Craig Tomlinson and Shaun Williams.
You trained at the famed Muhammad Ali camp in Deer Lake PA. What was that like?
It was great! I am really motivated. There are no distractions up here. It is very secluded from everything. I have no internet access and barely have cell phone reception. There is no cable TV and I can only watch DVD’s when I get a chance, but this is what camp is all about. I stay focused and I am running hills every other day and working around the gym.
How does it feel to train in the very same site where many legends have trained, including the pronounced greatest heavyweight of all time, Muhammad Ali?
It is a blessing to be able to train in the same facility where the greatest fighter of all time has trained. To walk on the same the ground he walked on is incredible and an honor.
They have so many names on these rocks up here, guys like Muhammad Ali, Floyd Patterson and Joe Louis. I want to someday have my name on a rock up here and be remembered as a legend just like those guys. Of course I can’t fill the shoes that Muhammad Ali had, but someday I hope to be a legend too.
You are fighting Tony Grano. He has a raw style and will throw a lot of haymakers. How do you deal with a fighter like him?
You swim without getting wet. Tony Grano is flatfooted and can’t handle angles. My style is that of a more complete boxer. I can box and I can slug, but I don’t want to be in there just slugging with a slugger. I want to be on my toes, boxing and giving angles so he constantly has to reset. I truly believe if I stick to my game plan, that I will knock Tony Grano out. Don’t get me wrong. He is an extremely tough kid. Tony and I came up in the amateurs together. I have seen him dropped and he has gotten up and knocked people out. I haven’t watched any of his professional fights other then what clips I have seen up here. Come Friday night, I am going to show the world who Travis Kauffman is.
Who is training you for this fight?
My father (Marshall Kauffman) is training me. I also have a strength and conditioning coach, Junior Washington.
How do you feel you are progressing?
I feel I am progressing well. Having just turned twenty-four in camp, I don’t want to rush anything. I am a young heavyweight. Most heavyweights don’t start maturing until they are twenty six or twenty seven years old. There is only one place I can go when I beat Tony Grano and that is up.
Any message to your fans and the people who will see you in action this Friday on ShoBox in the biggest fight of your career?
I just want everybody to know that I have worked very hard and I will work even harder to get to that next level. This fight gets me one step closer to fighting a bigger name and getting the world heavyweight title. It is not going to happen overnight, but I promise that one day I will win a world heavyweight title and some day unify all the world titles.