By Marc Livitz at Ringside in San Antonio: Chris Arreola found Travis Kauffman to be a hard stone to move in a grueling, grinding 12 round split decision victory. The former domestic heavyweight champion from Riverside, California immediately went after Kauffman after the bell sounded. He had the man from Reading, Pennsylvania on the ropes for a few moments in the process. Travis doubled and tripled up his jab to try to keep Arreola (37-4-1, 31 KO’s) on the back foot. A stiff left jab thrown by Chris tagged back and momentarily paused Kauffman (30-2, 22 KO’s) in his tracks.
Travis threw a left hook early on in the second which was met with a combination to head from his southern California foe. Halfway through the period, Arreola had Kauffman stunned once more but he chose not to finish the attack. The tendency shown by Travis to drop his head was allowing Chris to punch him to the sides and back of it. He continued to try to land the big shot until Travis unexpectedly dropped him in the closing minute of round three with some slick shots from the body upward to the head with a right hook. Arreola beat the count and shook off the cobwebs.
Kauffman was thinking through his punches more now. He caught Chris once again early on in the fourth, only this time Arreola was ready to return fire with a hard right upstairs. The brief exchanges continued. A hard right from Travis highlighted round five. A war ensued once the sixth began. Each man connected with powerful, mostly to head punches. The battle wore on into the seventh. Travis found success from a slight distance, while Chris was on constant lookout for a close in power shot. Each fighter lumbered on and stamina appeared to be coming into question.
Jabs thrown high and higher followed the fighters into the final quarter of the bout. Arreola was having a good round eight, for the most part. His jab would keep Kauffman on the lesser side of moving forward. Travis connected with a fine left hook to the chin in the ninth. Chris was given a short breather of sorts when his Pennsylvania adversary appeared to have hit him a bit too low with but twenty seconds to spare. He took it for what he could, much to the disdain of the highly vocal San Antonio crowd.
Chris was doing everything he could to wear down Kauffman in the tenth. He threw several consecutive shots to the upper head. He did so once again to begin round eleven and just barely missed on a highly swung uppercut. This was becoming a hitting contest. The last chance to score a knockout was now at hand as the bout went on to the twelfth.
Arreola dug to the body of Kauffman. He tied up a bit. Travis threw the jab as before and backed Chris off with a hard right. The fans in attendance rose to their appreciative feet as the bell sounded. The judges would decide this one. Their scores read as follows: 114-113 (Arreola), 114-113 (Kauffman) and finally 114-113 to Arreola to award him the split decision victory.
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December 12 , 2015