UPDATE: Travis Kauffman tells Everlast that he will still be fighting Sunday, June 10, in Lancaster, CA, though not against Antonio Tarver.
June 10 was supposed to be the date of a ring return for Travis Kauffman, the PA-based heavyweight.
The 31-2 hitter was supposed to face ex world champ Antonio Tarver, now age 49, and fighting far from his heyday weight of light heavyweight.
But, the 32 year old Kauffman said, he won’t be fighting Tarver June 10. I reached out to Tarver, and he confirmed, there will be no fight.
“Failed physical, 2 tears in my left shoulder “labrum” gotta rehabilitate but surgery eventually… out 6-8 weeks but still suspended, they refused to clear that up had to fight my ass off for the little money 💰 they did put on the table and with 3 yr inactive couldn’t take that chance,” Tarver wrote back to me when I asked what happened. “I couldn’t get a Fed ID in Florida because of the suspension in NJ.”
Tarver holds a 31-6-1 mark. The lanky lefty debuted as a pro in 1997. He tested positive for a banned substance from his 2012 fight against Lateef Kayode, in CA, and was punished. He was punished again for a positive sample following his 2015 fight against Steve Cunningham, in NJ, and hasn’t boxed live since then.
I saw rumors pinging around the web that Tarver tested positive again and that’s why this fight was off. He says otherwise, and talked more about this faceoff. “Of course they gonna slander my name. The business never got handled and if they wanted me to fight that situation in NJ should’ve been the first thing to get resolved,” said the fighter signed to the PBC label. (A PBC spokesman said PBC had no comment about this matter on Tuesday at noon.) “I’m ready to fight but I can’t compromise everything for absolutely nothing, and they wasn’t doing me any favors fighting a 10 round fight out the gate with tough rugged Kauffman for no money 💰 so they are using my situation against me knowing how bad I wanted to get back… I really considered fighting with no strength in my left arm.”
Tarver said he has a fine hanging over his head, from that Cunningham fight deal, but told me he hasn’t made money for three years and “I’ll never be able to afford to pay off a fine for something I didn’t do.” He feels a kinship with Jack Johnson, he said. “It’s punishment for staying strong 💪🏾 I can’t worry about that… I’m gonna get this shoulder treated with PRP and stem cell replacement and see can we get strong in the next 4/6 weeks and if they want to fine me the respect and dignity that’s due a 5 X champ then I’m ready to rumble.”
Kauffman last gloved up in March of 2017, when he fought to a draw with Amir Mansour. Kauffmann was undergoing an eye procedure and said he’d get back to me with more info, so I will add that when received.
I have a request out to NJ athletic commission boss Larry Hazzard to get his take on Tarver’s suspension, and will add that info when received.