Friday night should be an exciting night of Boxing when several marquee names headline War at the Forge III at Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia, PA.
King’s Promotion always put on a good show and Friday should be no different.
In the main event Travis Kauffman (24-1, 18 Ko’s) will take on veteran journeyman Arron Lyons (12-12-1, 9 Ko’s) in a scheduled 8-round Heavyweight affair.
Kauffman is currently No. 13 ranked WBA Contender, and enters the ring on a six-fight winning streak, since a controversial loss to Tony Grano back in 2009. He recently sparred with Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, as Mansour prepared for his upcoming fight against Maurice Harris.
“Travis is a good boxer, they were good sparring sessions,” said Mansour.
Kauffman is known for his punching power, scoring 18 knockouts, with eight of them coming in the first round.
“I am like a home run hitter, but you can’t always swing for the long ball,” said Kauffman. “I am a smart fighter now, and I know what I need to do”.
Kauffman was one of the top rated heavyweight prospects until he lost a controversial bout to Tony Grano in 2009.
“Yeah, that was tough, you saw the fight so you know what happened, I learned a lesson that day, take the full rest given and fight with your head not heart. I didn’t fight my fight but I am over that. I went through some things, depression, weight issues, and injuries, but know I feel good. I am fighting for my family, and my career. I know what is at stake.”
Kauffman also knows that his opponent is no push over.
“He (Lyons) is upset-minded and he has fought some good fighters. He fought Damian Willis and took that into the ninth round, and he fought Luis Ortiz and that was only stopped because of a cut.”
The co-main event will pit upstart Frank Santos De Alba (8-1-2, 3 Ko’s) against Luis Esquilin (2-5-1)in an eight-round jr. lightweight bout.
A southpaw out of Philly, Esquilin, has dropped four of five, but might prove to be a test for De Alba, who has issues with southpaws from time to time.
In his last bout, De Alba earned a six-round unanimous decision against southpaw Jamell Tyson in June. De Alba had a very short amateur career, seeing action in just nine fights.
Miguel Cartagena (7-0, 3 Ko’s) will take on Eduardo Melendez (4-13, 1 Ko) in a four-round bantamweight contest.
Cartagena has an outstanding track record, posting a 114-11 amateur mark, while winning the U.S. National Championship and National Golden Gloves Championship at the age of 16 in 2009. The 21-year old believes his style is perfect for the pro game and has been able to develop his power over the last couple of years.
Despite having a lop-sided record, Melendez might not be an easy walk through. The native of Santa Isbel, Puerto Rico, will fight anyone put in front of him.
Cartagena will be the ninth straight undefeated boxer that Melendez has fought.
In what could be the fight of the night, Damon Allen Jr. (2-1, 1 Ko) will tussle against Sammy Omar Quinones (2-1, 1 Ko) in a four-round lightweight battle.
Allen Jr. and Quinones both had stellar amateur records and both agreed to fight this contest at a catch weight of 137.5 lbs. Quinones dropped 14 pounds in three weeks to make weight, while Allen Jr. had to go up a couple of pounds.
“I had to lose 14 pounds in three weeks, but I am not tired, my conditioning is good, and I feel strong,” said Quinones. “My style and background is made for the pros, I know Allen is a good boxer, but he does not have my style and he is not as active as I am in the ring. I worked on my counterpunching and I am ready to go. I have a family to feed and provide for, but at the same time I want to be the champ.”
Quinones came to the U.S. from Puerto Rico when he was nine and started boxing at 10. He was trained early on by Danny Garcia Sr., father of Danny Garcia, who is the current WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine light-welterweight Champion.
“We lost touch years ago, but started to talk here and there and we just talk about when we used to train in Philly and do running together and stuff.”
Khalib Whitemore (1-0) while take on Richard McCombs (1-4) in a scheduled four-round light heavyweight bout to round out the action.