Chris Arreola and Travis Kauffman came into their fight Saturday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio as friends and longtime sparring partners. They left with plenty of questions unsettled.
Thursday’s press conference saw fireworks between Chris Arreola and Travis Kauffman when heated words turned into pushing and shoving. Friday’s weigh-in wasn’t as explosive, but Arreola wasn’t going to just let bygones be bygones.
Travis Kauffman was 10 years old when his father, Marshall, opened KING’s (Kids In Need of Guidance) Boxing Gym in Reading, Pennsylvania. Five years after that, Marshall Kauffman brought one of his amateur charges, Kermit Cintron, to the pro ranks. Another five years later and Cintron was at Caesars Palace taking on Antonio Margarito for a 147-pound championship.
Chris Arreola and Travis Kauffman first got to know each other in camp with Hasim Rahman when the former heavyweight champ was tuning up for another title shot against Olev Maskaev in 2006. It wasn’t a successful camp for Rahman, who would get stopped in the 12th round during that fight. But it was good enough for Arreola and Kauffman, who went on to become friends from that point forward.
Fred Kassi was 36 and coming off a loss when he faced Chris Arreola in July. In other words, you probably couldn’t have found anyone in the fight game who had Kassi ticketed for a trip to the top of the heavyweight division.
Many boxers who decide to jump up in weight after a lengthy stint at a lower division do so cautiously—say with a couple of low-risk fights against no-name opponents. Omar Figueroa Jr. has opted for the exact opposite approach.