Saturday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, heavyweight contender Travis Kauffman took the biggest step of his boxing career when he faced two-time title challenger Chris Arreola. Kauffman dropped Arreola in Round 3, and appeared to be taking the fight to the more experienced slugger, but still came up short on the score cards, losing by split decision.
All three judges saw a very close fight, with two scoring 114-113 for Arreola and the third awarding it to Kauffman by the same margin.
While it is Travis Kauffman’s first loss since 2009, it’s not necessarily a moment that will seriously hurt his career. Arreola is no longer the same fighter he was a just a couple of years ago, but he’s a very experienced professional and still a top-25 fighter with a lot of name recognition. Obviously it would have been better for Kauffman to win, but a gritty and contested loss like this one can still bump up a fighter’s standing.
In addition to dropping down the rugged Arreola, Kauffman had to come back from getting rocked hard in Round 6. After getting the worst of it from Arreola in Rounds 10 and 11, he battled through fatigue to make a game stand in the final round.
Travis Kauffman sounded a positive note in a press release today from King’s Promotions: “I spoke to my manager, Al Haymon and he said that bigger things are going to happen for me. Weather it is a rematch or someone else, I am ready for that. I showed that I am a force in the division. I worked for so long for this fight, so I am just going to take a week off and enjoy my kids and I will be right back in the gym. I am looking to be back sometime between February and April.”
These are exciting times right now in the heavyweight division and there are a lot fights to be made. A durable, come-forward puncher like Travis Kauffman should figure into the mix, especially after making a decent showing against a recognizable name like Chris Arreola.