Since boxers often amaze us with their majestic feats, at times we fail to note that, like us, they put their pants on one leg at a time.
We forget that they are regular people, even if their pain tolerance is of a higher grade, and their ambition and grit is a cut above. We should maybe remind ourselves now and again that these people often struggle with regular Joe and Jane problems like the rest of us.
Heavyweight Travis Kauffman had been building a bit of momentum, giving a good go of it against Chris Arreola in a fight he lost via SD, but was changed to a ND after CA failed a pee test, popping for reefer.
Kauffman, now 32, beat Josh Gormley and then stepped to the line against Amir Mansour. Again, he gave a good account of himself, but saw the judges pick the other guy come decision time. That fight unfolded in March 2017, but Kauffman hasn’t gloved up for pay since.
The reason is pretty ordinary. Life was happening.
“There was no injury from the Mansour fight, just a lot of personal things, a lot of people close to me died last year, so mentally it was a tough year,” the 31-2 boxer, a Pennsylvania native, explained to me. “Not only that, I’m a single father of three boys, which makes it even tougher.”
He is now training in Texas, and says he’d like sign on with promoter Eddie Hearn, as he saw Danny Jacobs do, and get into that stable of heavyweights with Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte.
“I would love to,” he told me. Kauffman is in the Al Haymon advisor stable, currently. Haymon, the hitter told me, says he will have a fight date in April.
As for the tango against the 45-year-old Mansour, any takeaways from that?
“I started way too fast and should’ve boxed and paced myself,” Kauffman said. “I thought because of him being old I could have an extremely fast pace and slow him down. And yes, I’m hoping I can sit down with Hearn... I’d love to fight Whyte or Dereck Chisora.”
We chatted some about the demands upon us, as persons, as fathers. “Yes, this is a very unforgiving sport and we are the last to be taken care of.”
We laughed about how Mayweather money can change the dynamic, allow the hiring of nannies. “I made decent money fighting Arreola,” he said, but he wasn’t blown away by the purse for the Mansour fight, he noted.
And this is capitalism, friends, this is why we continue to hammer away, to strive, to try to reach higher peaks on taller mountains.
Money doesn’t make problems disappear, most of us get that. But it can remove or minimize some of the smaller imperdiments to achieving larger-scale success. And from there, Kauffman understands, it’s up to him to deliver.
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