Up-and-coming, undefeated heavyweight Travis Kauffman (18-0, 15 KOs) of Reading, Penn., has rendered unconscious his last eight opponents, but figures to get his sternest test to date when he faces confident, upset-minded, once-beaten Tony Grano (15-1-1, 12 KOs) of Hartford, Conn., in the 10-round main event tomorrow/Friday, Sept. 18, on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
“This is just a great opportunity and I’m very confident I’ll come out on top,’’ Grano said. “He hasn’t fought anybody and I think they are underestimating me big time. This is going to be a much tougher fight for Kauffman than he anticipated. By far, this will definitely be his toughest fight. We’ll know after Friday if it’s mine.’’
Counters Kauffman: “I am not underestimating him at all. If I was, I wouldn’t have spent seven weeks at camp, running five-six miles a day.’’
In the opening half of a doubleheader promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., promising, unbeaten Chris Avalos (11-0, 9 KOs), of Lancaster, Calif., meets Giovanni Caro (12-8-3, 11 KOs) of Mexico City in an eight round bantamweight bout.
“Everything has been going really good. I just take it day-to-day and try to improve and progress and learn as I go. This is the next step and one I’m looking forward to taking.
“I know this is a process but I’m here for the long haul. There are a lot of things I need to work on, but once I’m ready, I know I’ll be ready for the best. I’m still a little nervous in the beginning of some fights, but the more experience I get, the calmer I become.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting on SHOWTIME again.’’
“We were both very good amateurs, national champions, and both have good power. But he’s in a little too deep this time around.
“This is going to be a really exciting fight and I am extremely excited that it’s on SHOWTIME. We’ll see what he’s made of. I can’t wait for Friday night.’’
“This is my second straight fight on SHOWTIME and it is very exciting to be fighting on SHOWTIME again. I dedicated my first SHOWTIME fight to my grandmother because she had suffered a stroke and couldn’t come watch me, and I’m dedicating this fight to her, too.
“Since my first fight on SHOWTIME, I get much more attention from people who recognize me, which is sort of cool.
“But the most exciting part about winning my last fight was how our daughter, Angelina Gisselle, who’s almost three, reacted while watching me on TV. My wife said that Angelina was screaming ‘look at my daddy, look at my daddy, he’s on the TV’ while pointing her finger at the television and jumping around.’’
“I have fought so many times in my opponents’ backyards. A lot of my losses are because of that. I got losses in fights I felt I win. That discouraged me for a while and I lost my enthusiasm. But now I am 100 percent ready to fight again.
“I’m prepared to adapt to whatever I have to in this fight to win it.’’