Mansour Upsets Kauffman
“I want Wilder next. I am 44 years old. I want my shot. They should give me my shot and try to get me out of the way…”
Friday night at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, 44-year-old Amir Mansour (23-2-1, 16 KOs), the southpaw from Wilmington, Delaware, won a majority decision over Travis Kauffman (31-2, 23 KOs), the 31-year-old hometown favorite, to win the vacant USBA heavyweight title after 12 rounds.
The final scores 117-111(Tony Lundy), 115-113 (Mike Somma), and 114-114 (Steve Weisfeld).
Kauffman started strong and built an early lead. A hard right stunned Mansour in round two. The fighters traded punches with abandon, but Kauffman dominated the first half of the fight.
Mansour appeared to take over in the second half. He was busier than Kauffman, who seemed to fade as the fight progressed, and closed the gap as it went into the championship rounds.
Both fighters let it all hang out in 12th and final round, going to toe-to-toe for the full three minutes until the bell to end the fight sounded.
Mansour had fought the better competition coming in, but was only 3-2-1 in his last six fights, having lost to Steve Cunningham in 2014 and Dominic Breazeale last year.
Kauffman by contrast was on a 7½-year win streak, having won all of his fights since a 2009 loss to Tony Grano, with the exception of a no decision to Chris Arreola in 2015, who failed a post-fight drug test.
It was a big win for Mansour, but Kauffman wasn’t buying it.
“I got robbed. It’s plain and simple,” he said. “It was a good fight, but I thought I won by three rounds.
“He landed a couple of shots, but I clearly outworked him. I thought I landed more and did enough to get the win.”
Mansour couldn’t agree less.
“They thought I was old and would tire down the stretch, but I am mentally strong.
“I give Travis credit. He stood in there with me tonight. But as I waited for the scores, I knew I won the fight. These were honorable judges.”
When asked who he fights to fight next, Mansour was quick to answer.
“I want Wilder next. I am 44 years old. I want my shot. They should give me my shot and try to get me out of the way.”
Mansour may qualify as a suitable opponent for Deontay Wilder. But he might be, even at that advanced age, too risky for the WBC champ.