By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Undefeated heavyweight prospect Travis “G.W. Hope” Kauffman (17-0, 14 KOs) passed the biggest test of his seventeen fight career, stopping veteran gatekeeper Livin Castillo (14-7, 9 KOs) in round three of their schedule eight round clash at the Sovereign Center in Reading, PA this past Saturday night. Castillo presented quite a test for the undefeated Kauffman, having lost to top opposition, such as Eddie Chambers, Alexander Povetkin, Bruce Seldon and Oleg Maskaev. Kauffman knew if he was to continue to make his way to the top of the heavyweight division, he must not only beat him, but do equal or better than the top heavyweights did. He accomplished almost everything he could with a convincing third round knockout of Livin Castillo.
Kauffman wanted to end it early, but he was surprised by two counter lefts from Castillo in the opening round. “He caught me with those left and it shocked me because I couldn’t move my feet, said Kauffman. “I knew after the first round I had to adjust and I switched to the southpaw stance and he had no answer for it. “
The move to southpaw in round two allowed Kauffman to hammer away at will with a four punch combination and heavy hooks to the body. Castillo looked hurt and began to clinch. Castillo was back to the ropes and Kauffman went for the kill unloaded with combinations up top as his opponent covered and survived the round.
“I said to myself nobody had ever stopped him in the second round,” said Kauffman. “I am going to try and get him out. I went away from the body shots and I started to head hunt to much or he wouldn’t have survived the round. “
Kauffman went back to the body with heavy hooks follow with uppercuts which had Castillo at his mercy in round three. Finally a right hook to the body sent Castillo to the canvas. Castillo rose to his feet ahead of the count. Referee Gary Rosato knew he had nothing left and waved the bout off without an argument from Castillo. The time of the stoppage occurred at 1:26 seconds of the third round.
Cruz Stops Allen In One
In the co-feature of the evening, Bethlehem PA’s Ronald Cruz (5-0, 3 KOs) put on an outstanding performance handing Laurel, Maryland welterweight Norman Allen (6-2, 3KOs) just his second loss of his career with a first round TKO.
Allen had trouble with the hand speed of Cruz from the opening bell. By mid round Cruz was landing big right hands and consistently backing up the more experienced Allen. Cruz wobbled Allen with a left-right combination as the ten second warning sounded.
Like an experienced veteran Cruz jumped on him with a flurry of punches as the badly Allen covered against the ropes. Referee Gary Rosato had seen enough and jumped in and stop the bout just as the bell sounded to end the round.
The time of the stoppage was three minutes of the opening round.
Mathews Overpowers Pasley
Undefeated cruiserweight Julio Cesar Mathews of Reading, PA dropped southpaw Kamarah Pasley twice in capturing a one sided six round unanimous decision victory.
It wasn’t easy for Mathews as he had to fight the final three rounds with a closed left eye due to an accidental clash of heads.
Mathews took over the fight in round two as he landed continual right hands over the top while in the constant clinches. Late in round two Mathews dropped Pasley with a three punch combination.
Pasley had twisted away and lost his balance when he stepped on the * MMA rope at the same time as the combination landed. He claimed it was not a knockdown, but the punches would have put him down anyway. Mathews would not let him off the hook and pounded away on him until the bell sounded to end the round.
Mathews continued the assault in round three and forced Pasley to take a knee from two consecutive right hands on the ear. The bout changed though as an accidental clash of heads caused a swelling near Mathews’ eye.
“In between rounds, I blew my nose and the eye swelled completely shut, so I had to be careful the rest of the way, so that the fight would not be stopped,” said Mathews afterward.
From that point on Mathews slowed his attack, picking his moments to land big right hands on the inside as Pasley jabbed away at the eye. Mathews was the stronger fighter and won rounds four and five heavy overhand rights while on the inside.
Pasley behind badly on the scorecards went into survival mode and jabbed his way around the ring in the final round, keeping Mathews a bay until the final bell sounded.
All three judges saw the bout easily in favor of Julio Cesar Mathews by scores of 58-54, 59-53 and 59-52.
Julio Cesar Mathews ups his record to (8-0, 5 KOs), while Kamarah Pasley slips to (4-4, 2 KOs).
Tomlinson Successful in Comeback
42 year old Reading, PA heavyweight Craig Tomlinson (24-15, 13 KOs) shook off over five years of ring rust in scoring a one sided four round unanimous decision victory over Jonathan “The people’s champion” Felton (6-15, 5 KOs).
Tomlinson was in control throughout as Felton of Stafford, Virginia spent most of the rounds against the ropes, taking big right hands and uppercuts from the hometown heavyweight while offering little in return.
The fight had its’ sloppy moments as both fighters landed shots behind the head. Felton was warned in round three. An accidental clash of heads also put a mouse under Tomlinson right eye which made him a little leery about trading on the inside in the later rounds.
Felton tried in the final two rounds to land a wild combination here and there, but Tomlinson avoided them and continued his heavy overhand rights and uppercuts until the final bell.
Felton, who spent much of his time against the ropes, had trouble with the * MMA bottom rope as he stepped on it constantly during the fight. At one point in round four, he was stunned from a right hand by Tomlinson but his knees buckled when he stepped on the * MMA rope.
Tomlinson attacked thinking he was badly hurt, but Felton grabbed him and actually lifted him off his feet as he stood straight up.
In the end, all three judges gave Tomlinson every round by scores of 40-36 respectively.
“I was a really nervous about coming out to the hometown crowd for the first time in five years,” said Tomlinson. “I was nervous about keeping my composure, but kind of lost focus and allowed him to stay in the match. If I would have just out boxed him, he wouldn’t have stood a chance. I gave him an opportunity to throw haymakers and that is all he threw.”
“My goal is to put out a positive message. That is the only reason I came back,” continued Tomlinson. “I am not going to tell you that I am going to fight ten more times and become the heavyweight champion of the world. What I am going to do is to use this to put out the message of hope, help and faith. I turned my life over to Christ and I’ve come a long way in the last five years. I had to step away from boxing; I was going to lose a lot of stuff, my wife, my children, my health and my job. I got my priorities right. With my talents, little is possible, with God everything is possible.”
Rodriquez Beats Thompson in Rematch
Lebanon, PA lightweight prospect Esteban Rodriquez (5-1, 1 KO) proved his split decision win in his previous match with Travis Thompson (3-6-1. 2 KOs) of Reading, PA was no fluke, by scoring a four round unanimous decision victory in the opening bout of the evening.
Thompson was the pressure fighter and he opened the fight with several hooks to the body, but by the middle of the round Rodriquez was timing the advances with jabs and counters.
Rodriquez stepped up the pace in round two, keeping “The Animal” at bay with slapping flurries.
Thompson knew the fight was in danger and attacked with a fury right from the bell in round three, pushing Rodriquez to the ropes and landing more hooks on the inside. Rodriquez countered well with more precise combinations, but they had less snap on them.
Thompson tired in the fourth, allowing Rodriquez to outwork him with combinations to the head and body throughout the closing moments of the fight.
All three judges saw the bout in favor of Esteban Rodriquez by scores of 40-36 x2, and 39-37 respectively.
* Editor’s Note: The boxing portion of this card was followed by six amateur MMA bouts, therefore a “bottom rope” (approximately six inches from the canvas) was added to protect the MMA fighters when they fought on the canvas.
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