Showtime Championship Boxing will be back on Saturday, Aug. 15, with a tripleheader from Connecticut, which will open with a 10-round heavyweight clash between Otto Wallin and Travis Kauffman, who both have something to prove and plenty on the line in the bout.
Wallin, 29, is originally from Sweden and now based in New York. He broke out a bit in defeat in 2019, losing a much more competitive than expected decision to Tyson Fury last September, a fight many — including us — have argued would have been stopped in Wallin’s favor due to a grotesque cut on Fury, had Fury not been a superstar A-side with a lot of money behind him.
Wallin (20-1, 13 KO) has been training again with Joey Gamache, and says he’s ready for the matchup with the 34-year-old Kauffman (32-3, 23 KO).
“I’m very happy to finally be back in the ring,” said Wallin. “It’s been a long and crazy year in many ways and it feels great to be getting ready to step back into the ring. I’ve been training steady since the Fury fight and I feel like I’ve developed my game in a lot of ways. Kauffman is a tough veteran that can both come forward or box if he wants to. He’s a fan-friendly fighter and I have to be ready at all times. We have a great game plan as always and I’m in excellent shape. I know I have all the tools to beat Kauffman.”
Kauffman has never been a top contender, but the Pennsylvania native can be fun to watch, as Wallin notes, and he’s got some real power. He hasn’t fought since Dec. 2018, when he lost to Luis Ortiz via 10th round stoppage, but was very game against the big Cuban, as he was against Amir Mansour in a 2017 defeat, which came via majority decision. He also gave Chris Arreola a very tough fight in 2015, which Arreola originally won via split decision, though the result was changed to a no-contest when Arreola failed a drug test.
Kauffman will be working without Naazim Richardson, who passed away recently. He’s confident, though, that he has the experience to handle Wallin.
“This is my first training camp in seven years without Brother Naazim Richardson, but I know that he wouldn’t want me to leave camp and he’d want me to stay focused,” said Kauffman. “Having him pass away while I was in camp was one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with, but there’s adversity in every camp I’ve had. I wouldn’t feel right if there wasn’t adversity to overcome. My father, Marshall, stepped back in as my head trainer. We know we’re facing a young, hungry fighter, but I have more experience than him and I don’t think he can last 10 rounds with me when I’m at 100 percent like I’ll be on Aug. 15.”