Exclusive: Travis Kauffman talks COVID-19 recovery, Otto Wallin clash

Travis Kauffman

Amanda Westcott

American heavyweight Travis Kauffman is ready to return to action tonight after a difficult few months out of action.

The Al Haymon contender tested positive for COVID-19 in the earlier stages of the pandemic and has since successfully recovered.

Travis Kauffman is now pitched in with dangerous Swede Otto Wallin, the man who gave Tyson Fury a scare last year.

Discussing his battle and imminent comeback, Kauffman sent a message to those who are not taking the virus seriously enough.

“Everything is great now, I am ready to fight again,” Kauffman exclusively told World Boxing News. “But this virus is real.

“I do not think the death numbers I think are exaggerated. But it is very real, People should practice social distancing and cleanliness.

“We should have been using sanitizing even before the virus started.”

Asked what it’s been like since he got back to training full time, Kauffman added: “Nothing has changed. It was hard at 1st because I was out for so long, but I am back to where I need to be.”

Otto Wallin Travis Kauffman
Amanda Westcott

Opponent Wallin enhanced his reputation when slicing Fury’s face during their Las Vegas clash in September 2019.

The resulting gash could have easily seen Fury stopped by a referee with less stomach than Tony Weeks.

Airing his assessment of Wallin, Kauffman gives the 29-year-old the same respect he gives any man he takes on inside the ropes.

“He is very good. And I know he’s hungry. Saying that – I don’t think he is great. But he has to prove that he belongs here and it’s my job to stop him.

“I have fought better competition than Otto Wallin in the past.”

Giving his view on the cut suffered by Fury and whether he thought the WBC champion should have been stopped, Kauffman was rather non-plussed about the whole thing.

“I’m not the doctor, so it’s not my job to make that call. But Wallin did well and Fury may have underestimated him.

“Tyson would have stopped if he took him more seriously. Before that fight, no one had heard of Wallin.


TRAVIS KAUFFMAN BACK AT IT

“This fight will give me an opportunity to make great money to be able to provide for my kids.

“First things first is Saturday night, and then we worry about the next twelve months. If I don’t win, there is nothing to think about.”

Finally, pressed for his opinion on Fury vs Deontay Wilder III or Anthony Joshua, Kauffman concluded: “Anybody that punches that hard has a chance (against any heavyweight).

“But for me, Fury will beat Joshua.”

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.