"I always wanted the fight. I think Amir is a tough fighter, but if I want to be at that level I claim I belong, Amir is the type of guy you have to go through first... I have more to lose. Mansour don't have nothing to lose. He's already lost twice; he knows what it feels like to lose. I haven't lost since 2009...he's a desperate man. A desperate man could be dangerous because they would do anything," stated heavyweight contender Travis Kauffman, who talked about his upcoming February 25 clash with fellow contender Amir Mansour. Check it out!
PC: You will be facing Amir Mansour on February 25th in Alabama. You guys had some back and forth going on Facebook. Now you guys get a chance to talk with your fists. How do you feel about this fight?
TK: I feel good, man. This is a fight we have wanted for years. They offered it to us years ago; I think it was right after Mansour fought Cunningham. He turned it down like he just didn't want to fight nobody. And of course at that time, we wasn't making the money we make now, so I guess to him, it just didn't make sense, but I always wanted the fight. I think Amir is a tough fighter, but if I want to be at that level I claim I belong, Amir is the type of guy you have to go through first.
PC: Do you put a lot of stock into the social media altercation, so to speak, that you guys had?
TK: I mean, it wasn't really nothing with social media. I just saw Mansour saying that they offered us a fight and I turned it down and I was like, "Hold up, y'all never offered me a fight. Every time y'all offered me a fight, I jumped on it." It was just a bunch of lies and that's where the whole social media feud came from. I know Mansour personally, I sparred him a couple of times. He's a good dude. I ain't never had no personal beef with him; just that little social media bs of him trying to make himself feel better, I guess, or whatever he wanted to put up to make his fans think I was scared of him or whatever. Let's be real, Mansour needs this more than I need this. That's a fact. He's 45 years old. He loses this, he's done. I'm at a point in my career where it's all up from here. I lose to Mansour, I go down and have to work my way all the way back up again. I have more to lose. Mansour don't have nothing to lose. He's already lost twice; he knows what it feels like to lose. I haven't lost since 2009. I had that bullshit loss to Chris Arreola that wasn't a loss; that was a win for me. I have everything to lose and to a lot of people, this fight don't make sense, but listen, it makes sense because I don't care if Mansour was 20 years old or 50 years old, he comes to fight. I will never look at this as an easy fight and I want the fight. That's why we called Al and asked him to make it happen.
PC: Amir is a dangerous guy for anyone.
TK: Yeah, he's dangerous. Anybody in the heavyweight division is dangerous. Anybody over 200 pounds is dangerous. I'm a dangerous man. I'm just as dangerous as Mansour.
PC: How do you not feed into the "he's an old man" theory and do what you want to do against him?
TK: I don't feed into it because he's a desperate man. A desperate man could be dangerous because they would do anything. Listen man, when you don't have any money and you're in the streets, what do you do? You go rob a bank because you're desperate and you gotta feed your family. A desperate man can do some dangerous things. So I gotta make sure I'm on my P's and Q's; that way I don't allow him to be the man he can be.
PC: I'm sure both of you guys are hoping this is a fight that springs you into more activity and in line with the title holders for a future date.
TK: We're hoping, man. Al has big plans and the biggest thing is me staying healthy and injury free and staying as good looking as I am and we will go from there.
PC: Are you in full-fledged camp or still just easing into things with the fight being in late February?
TK: I've been in camp for 3 weeks already. This ain't no walk in the park. I think Chris is more skilled than Mansour, but I think Mansour is more dangerous than what Chris was. I think Chris is a bigger puncher, but Mansour throws everything with bad intentions. It's just one of them things. I gotta make sure that every minute of every round, I'm on my P's and Q's because even though he's an old man, you can't sleep on him. He's really a young 45 yeas old. He ain't take no 45-year-old beating, you know what I'm saying, not until February 25th. I gotta change that. What else can I do?
PC: For sure. I like these heavyweight-based cards because it gives you guys an opportunity to showcase why you belong, with the champ being at the top of the bill in his backyard. What are you looking to showcase my man?
TK: I just need to win. I want to do something nobody else has done and that's knock Mansour out. Yeah, Mansour quit against Breazeale because he had a bad injury, but we all know Mansour ain't no quitter. My goal is to go out there and do something nobody else has done and that's going to guarantee me a spot against one of the champs, whether it's Joshua or Parker or Wilder. So I have to do something nobody else has done and I think that will solidify a spot for me to fight for one of the belts. I can't just go out there and win a close fight to this man. I have to go out there and do something nobody else has done. I went out there and did what nobody else has done against Chris Arreola and that was back him up the entire fight.
PC: You are only 31 years old and you're a 32-fight veteran. It seems like you have been around forever. Does it feel that way to you as well?
TK: I have been around forever and it feels like forever, but I'm still young. I'm still young in this division. One thing that I think the heavyweight division lacks and I think that's why people grasps on to Tyson Fury so much is because he's entertaining. Not as a fighter, he's a terrible fighter, but his personality is entertaining. But the heavyweight division is lacking entertainment in the ring. They need someone who is very versatile and someone who could fight all types of ways and that's what I am. I don't have the super model body, not yet. I might buy one after this fight (laughing). But in all reality, I'm not in a beauty contest. I'm in the fight business and what I do have to offer in this sport is a lot of excitement and versatility. That's something that a lot of heavyweights can't do. A lot of heavyweights can't do what I do. They might be bigger punchers than me, they might throw a better jab than me, but they can't do it all; a little bit of this and a little bit of that. They are good at one aspect; I'm really good at many aspects.
PC: I can't wait to see this fight. Best of luck to you my man and hopefully we can talk afterwards. Is there anything else you want to add before I let you go?
TK: I just want everyone to keep an eye out because it's going to be a good fight.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]