Travis Hartman

of The Boxing Amusement Park



Travis Hartman was a spectacular amateur boxer -- 156-13, with three national championships -- who has struggled as a pro. The 26-year-old, who hails from the small town of Osborn, Missouri, is still an active fighter who maintains a passion for the sport that has consumed him since his childhood.  Hartman's training journal reflects his physical, psychological and emotional struggle as he continues his an ongoing quest to become the best.




Advice from a legend spurs this boxer on


Feb. 21, 2009

There comes a time in every fighter’s life when he knows he gave his absolute heart and sole, and still loses.

I remember the summer of 2007 (the best summer of my life) when I had the honor to train alongside Arturo Gatti in Pompano Beach. Florida. Gatti was in training camp to fight Alfonso Gomez (from the reality series "The Contender") on HBO in July of ’07, and the great Micky Ward was Gatti’s chief trainer. Mick had coincidentally retired in ’03 after a trilogy of matches against Gatti in which he won the first and lost the last two. Yes, Mick was now training Gatti after fighting him three times.

The reason I bring this story up is because one day in the gym, when it was just me, Gatti and Micky, I asked Mick how he was dealing with being retired. As you know, most athletes can never stay retired and end up making very unsuccessful comebacks, only to see them retire many times over. I really think Mick put it best when he told me, “Travis you know why I will stay retired? Because in my last fight against Arturo, I was physically and mentally in the best shape of my life, and I went out there and gave it my absolute best, and still lost. That’s when I knew I was done with boxing for good. I still have that fire, and I still have that temptation. But I know in my heart that when I give it my all, and that is still not good enough, then it's time to walk away.”

Therefore, with an extremely heavy heart, I, Travis Hartman will now announce my official retirement from the game of boxing. It was not an easy decision, but it was a decision that I had to make and after some very intense thought process. I eventually came back to what Mick had said to me that infamous summer day back in ‘07.

And it will be a cold day in hell if anybody thinks I am retiring today. I am writing this blog because of what Mick said that day. The day another fighter beats me when I am at my best is the day I will hang the gloves up immediately. Whatever excuses I might have for why I lost so many times as a professional mean nothing right now. No matter how legit the reasons were, I do know one thing: Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- has ever beaten me when I have been at my best. That is not disprespect to the guys that have beaten me as a pro, but simply a statement of fact. I take nothing from them because they did their job and showed up prepared in most instances.

But the past is exactly that.  Don’t dwell on the past so much that it affects your future. Live and learn. Dream big and reach for the stars. If you want it, nothing will stop you from getting it.





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