Two big men with big power are set to collide on St. Patrick’s Day, with the winner keeping alive his big dream of becoming a heavyweight champion.
Fighting out of his hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania, Travis Kauffman (31-1, 23 KOs) will take on veteran southpaw Amir Mansour (22-2-1, 16 KOs) on March 17 in a 12-round clash at Santander Arena (Bounce TV, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
The bout tops a Premier Boxing Champions card that will also feature a 10-round, 135-pound battle between Edner Cherry (35-7-2, 19 KOs) of Wauchula, Florida, and Omar Douglas (17-1, 12 KOs) of Wilmington, Delaware. Plus, former two-time world champion Steve Cunningham (28-8-1, 13 KOs) of Philadelphia returns to the ring against an opponent to be determined in a 200-pound contest scheduled for 10 rounds.
Kauffman, a 31-year-old lifelong resident of Reading, will be returning to the same venue where he scored a second-round TKO of Josh Gormley in his last fight on September 9. That followed a 12-round split-decision loss to Chris Arreola in December 2015, a result that was later changed to a no contest after Arreola failed a post-fight drug test.
Not counting the Arreola fight—during which he scored a third-round knockdown—Kauffman is riding a 13-fight winning streak, with the last three being quick stoppage victories (two in the second round, one in the first).
“I am very excited for this fight on March 17,” said Kauffman, who is 9-0 with eight KOs when fighting in Reading. “I am training very hard, and I’m ready to take care of business.
“Amir is a tough fighter who has never been in a bad fight. He is a desperate fighter who knows this is his last chance to retain his spot as a heavyweight contender, so I expect to see the best Amir Mansour. I will be very sharp. I expect a better performance than I had against Chris Arreola.”
Mansour has been out of action since January 23, 2016, when he faced undefeated heavyweight contender Dominic Breazeale in Los Angeles. Mansour dropped Breazeale to the canvas in the third round, but later suffered a broken jaw that forced him to retire after Round 5.
Since starting his career with 20 consecutive victories that spanned from July 1997 to December 2013, Mansour is 2-2-1, with his other blemish being a 10-round loss by unanimous decision to Cunningham in April 2014.
A 44-year-old fighting out of Wilmington, Delaware, Mansour’s boxing career has twice been interrupted by stints in prison. He served an 8½-year sentence from August 2001 to March 2010, and a subsequent parole violation led to a 14-month sentence that kept him out of the ring.
Given his age, Mansour realizes the clock is ticking on his goal of getting a world title shot, which makes defeating Kauffman of paramount importance.
“This is a fight that the heavyweight division needs,” Mansour said. “This is two top quality [boxers] facing off against each other.
“I am the toughest fighter that he has ever faced, but he is not the toughest fighter that I have faced. But I will say he is one of the best boxers in the heavyweight division. He has tremendous boxing skills, and I am looking forward to mixing it up with someone who can box and fight.”
For full coverage of Kauffman vs Mansour, visit our fight page.