Veteran heavyweight still has his eyes on a world title, but now his number one goal in life is to be the best father in the world.
When Travis “My Time” Kauffman (31-2, 23 KOs) was a young amateur boxer, he competed internationally and was ranked No. 1 nationally in the super heavyweight division. Back then he only had one goal.
“Before I had kids, my only goal in life was to be the heavyweight champion of the world,” Kauffman said. “But now my number one goal in life is to be the best father in the world, to leave a legacy for my kids. My number two goal is to be the heavyweight champion of the world.”
Now, Travis is a 12-year professional looking to earn his way to a title shot. That journey resumes this Sunday when Kauffman faces Californian Scott Alexander (14-2-2, 8 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight match at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California. The bout will headline an FS1 and FOX Deportes-televised card starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.
The 32-year-old native of Reading, Pennsylvania has a complex relationship with the sport.
“It’s a love-hate relationship. I love fighting. I grew up fighting,’’ Kauffman said. “I grew up in the inner city so there was no other option but to fight. Because of boxing I was able to get a beautiful home in the suburbs, get my kids out of the inner city. After this fight, for the first time in my life, I’m going on vacation.
“The business side of it hasn’t always been the greatest to me. I’m a single father of three kids, and this is the only way I know how to provide for my children. So when I’m sitting on a shelf not fighting for a year, money runs low. I bank on having fights.”
Kauffman last fought in March 2017 versus Amir Mansour. Travis lost via split decision in a competitive and entertaining bout. If he’d had things his way, the subsequent layoff would not have happened, but he has his theory about why other fighters aren’t lining up to sign a contract. “I was completely healthy. It’s not because of me—I want to fight. My opinion is it’s because I’m too high risk and little reward.”
“ Now my number one goal in life is to be the best father in the world, to leave a legacy for my kids. My number two goal is to be the heavyweight champion of the world. ” Veteran heavyweight Travis Kauffman
In December 2015, Kauffman took a huge step up in opposition level when he faced veteran contender Chris Arreola. Arreola was originally awarded the split decision despite many thinking Kauffman had won more rounds. Later, the result was changed to a No Decision when Arreola failed a drug test.
“I dominated that fight and they gave him the victory,” Travis said. “So that goes back to the love-hate relationship I have with this sport. At the end of the day, that fight changed my life financially—it was the most money I ever made in my career. But it also hurt me, because had the judges given the right decision, I would’ve [gotten] bigger opportunities.”
Kauffman has been training with legendary coach Naazim Richardson for several years. Richardson joined this training camp only for the last two weeks, as prior to that he was participating in the upcoming season of the television series The Contender. For first part of the camp, Travis went back to his original coach: his father, Marshall Kauffman, who Travis says “taught me everything I know.”
Travis spoke affectionately about Naazim.
“I’ve known him since I was a little kid, as an amateur,’’ he said. “The best thing I’ve gotten from Naazim is his belief in me and he really made me believe in myself. If you believe in yourself, you can go to a whole other level.
“Another thing is I’m one of those guys who’s naturally gifted. It’s like a guy who has so many guns he doesn’t know which one to use. Naazim has taught me you don’t always have to use your shotgun. Sometimes you can just beat somebody with a little knife. Keep stabbing ‘em. And once in a while, pull that shotgun out.”
Travis has been itching to get back in the ring, particularly after dealing with personal issues like deaths in the family and depression over the course of his layoff. He sees this bout as the next step to reach the larger goal of a title shot.
“I’m excited to be back. Mentally, I’m in the best place I’ve been in a very long time,’’ he said. “I’m happy, I’m anxious to get this win and look good on Sunday night, and then I’m looking forward to hopping back in the ring I’m hoping no later than October.”
Kauffman has only watched a little tape on his upcoming opponent, Scott Alexander. But he believes he’s seen enough to know what to expect. “He has no amateur experience. He’s got good, basic fundamentals.
“I’ve forgotten more about boxing than he knows. Because of my amateur pedigree, I know how to adjust very quickly. Alexander is not something I’ve never seen before. But I don’t underestimate anybody. I believe this guy is hungry and this is the opportunity of a lifetime, so he’s gonna come out swinging. And it’s my job to make him miss and make him pay.”
For a closer look at Travis “My Time” Kauffman, check out his fighter page.