–After dropping the opening two rounds, Travis Kauffman stunned Chris Arreola with a third-round knockdown, courtesy of a big right that landed clean.
–Kauffman caught Arreola with a low blow in the ninth that saw the Californian take several minutes to recover. The break seemed to serve him well, as Arreola dominated the final three rounds on the judges’ cards.
–In a wild 12th round, Kauffman nearly put Arreola down again, but the veteran managed to stay on his feet. Ultimately, Arreola prevailed by the narrowest of margins, winning by split decision.
Chris Arreola and Travis Kauffman sparred more than 200 rounds against one another across various training camps. Saturday night in San Antonio, they fought for keeps, but neither guy can claim a decisive upper hand in the ongoing friendly rivalry.
In the end, Arreola escaped with a split-decision victory that saw scores of 114-113 on all three cards. In prevailing by the narrowest of margins, Arreola stayed alive in an increasingly wide-open heavyweight division.
Kauffman almost took those hopes away when his right hand connected flush in the third and put Arreola on the ground. After taking a long count, the former two-time title challenger made it to his feet, then survived Kauffman’s ensuing assault to get out of the round.
Kauffman went on to control the middle of the fight, leaving Arreola in desperation mode: He knew the last four rounds were do-or-die and he responded, scoring with a consistent left uppercut followed by a chopping right.
Those heavy shots did enough damage to allow Arreola to regain momentum and pull ahead by just enough to earn the nod.
- Arreola vs Kauffman