Travis Kauffman was born on August 21, 1985 in the
small but rugged city of Reading, Pennsylvania. He was raised by his father
Marshall, a self-employed single parent of two boys. Marshall Kauffman had a
short boxing career, consisting of 7 amateur fights and 1 pro fight, but was
forced to give up boxing to focus on his business and take care of his two sons.
"My dad and I are so much alike, it is tough at times working together because
we clash every now and then but he is pretty much always right," said Kauffman.
"I love my father, he taught me everything I know and he will always be in my
When Travis was nine, his father opened KING's Gym (Kids In Need of Guidance)
with the intent to keep inner city youth out of trouble. Travis would go to the
gym and mess around, which eventually led to his first amateur fight at 9 years
old against his brother Jason. Although the fight was considered an exhibition,
this was his introduction to competitive boxing. He and his brother went on to
fight 5 or 6 times after that.
In 1995, following the death of his grandmother - who was like a mother to him -
Travis quit boxing. Kauffman began getting in trouble and became a frequent
visitor to the local juvenile detention centers. His run-ins with local
troublemakers led to a severe beating at the hands of a group of thugs. This
would prove to be a pivotal turning point in his life.
One of the kids who jumped him was a boxer and Travis vowed to get back at all
of them, one by one. Around that time his father was hosting the regional Golden
Gloves and told his son that one of the kids who jumped him was entering the
tournament. Travis entered the regional tournament, fighting and beating the kid
to exact his revenge.
Afterwards he continued to box, winning the Middle Atlantic tournament at 15. He
was also picked to go to the 2001 Junior Olympics.
Tragedy struck Travis on June 7, 2001 when his mother died one week before the
tournament was to begin. Travis was devastated but insisted on winning the
Junior Olympics for his mother. Although he did not win, Travis placed third and
was very impressive in defeat.
Unfortunately, when he returned home after the Junior Olympics, he was arrested
for failure to inform his probation officer that he was out of town. While in
juvenile detention center, he made a choice that boxing was his calling in life.
Upon his release he moved into the open class of the amateurs.
At age 17 he made it to the 2003 National Golden Gloves, reaching the semifinals
only to lose to the 23-year-old Travis Walker. Walker went on to win the
tournament, scoring all of his wins by knockout except for the close fight with
Kauffman received a full scholarship to Northern Michigan University for boxing,
but after 2 months he realized the boxing program wasn't for him. At the time he
was ranked number 3 in the USA Boxing rankings in the Open class. He was gaining
valuable experience fighting the best amateurs from all over the world.
One of his brightest moments came in 2004 when he won a Gold Medal at the Police
Athletic League Nationals. Travis had one of the best performances of all-time
in that tournament, scoring an :18 knockout against Nagy Aguilera.
"He jumped right on him, caught him with an overhand right and stretched him,"
said Marshall Kauffman. "The rest was history."
In 2005 he was undefeated in international tournaments, winning the gold medal
at the Jose Cheo' Aponte tournament in Puerto Rico and the USA -vs- Azerbaijan
duel in Harvey, Illinois.
In the USA -vs- Azerbaijan finals, Kauffman faced off with 2000 Olympic bronze
medalist Vugar Alakbarov. Nursing an ailing right wrist, Kauffman fought the
entire fight as a southpaw to great effect. Kauffman won every round on the
Following that spectacular performance, Kauffman felt his time in the amateurs
was over and decided to pursue the glories of professional boxing. In only four
years of competition, Kauffman compiled a 52-12 record and was ranked number one
in the country.
Travis made his pro debut on January 26, 2006 against Jerome Boyer in Glen
Burnie, Maryland, stopping him in the second round.
On December 5, 2008, Kauffman made his national TV debut with a third round
knockout of once-beaten Malachy Farrell on ShoBox: The Next Generation. Despite
giving up 60 pounds in size, Kauffman was able to floor Farrell for the first
time in his career in round one and remained in control for the duration of the
"I really didn't expect a knockout," Marshall Kauffman told The Reading Eagle.
"The guy was durable, a big Irish kid. The plan was to box him, but Travis
wanted to go to war. Showtime loved him."
Kauffman followed that performance up with a pair of early knockouts against
trial-horses Ken Murphy and Cliff Couser.
Away from the ring Travis is a loving father of four - two biological sons
Travis Jr. and Christian Anthony, as well as two step-children Julius and Nevaeh
"Being a father is one of the best things in the world. It makes me a very
strong person. I love my kids, I spoil them to the death. It's a blessing that
has made me grow up and be a man."
Kauffman's father has been there the whole way watching over his son's
progression through the sport, as well as in life. With his priorities now in
the proper perspective, he feels his son is now on the right track to success.
"He's come along way. I knew he always had the skills to become a heavyweight
champion but his maturity has finally reached the levels where he can accomplish
everything he has set out for. He's more disciplined now. He knows that he has
to take his conditioning and weight seriously. How he eats, how he lives, he's
really focused on becoming the best fighter he can possibly be.”
"I am not done growing," said Travis. "I am very young and still have a long era
ahead of me so I am going to take my time. I am always learning and I will be
champ one day. I am the next big thing in the heavyweight division and I will
His record now stands at 16-0, with 13 knockouts (as of March 30, 2009).