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.





Living a dream in a rough, tough business

Friday, June 12, 2009 -- 2:24 a.m.

Some people like to focus on the negative things of living in a small town. I, however, have chosen to look at the positives of living in Osborn, Missouri. We all have been through the "he said, she said" BS of small towns, but I elect to rise above it all and focus on why I love living in a town where the official population is 455 — counting dogs and cats.

It is 2:24 a.m. and I just got back from a run with my dog. How many cities in the world can you safely and peacefully go for a run at this time? Could you do that in the rough streets of Philadelphia, or Los Angeles, or even Grand Rapids, Michigan?  

With that being said, I am boxing in St. Louis, Missouri, Saturday, June 13, against Willie Nelson (11-0, 7KOS). Yes another undefeated kid -- and no, it is not the Hall of Fame singer.

This Willie Nelson is sort of a freak of nature at 6-foot-3, 145 pounds. I honestly believe if the money was right I would agree to fight King Kong on two days notice and give him all he wanted. Is it smart? No, but it is exactly what I love to do, and it is something I have been very passionate about my entire life. Boxing is in my blood and I will always face all challenges head on with every ounce of effort my skinny little frame can muster up.

I generally, as a rule, try not to let to many people influence the way I think and feel about life in general, but I was struck by conversation I had last weekend with a person that I have known of, but never really met. I bring this up because I felt very humble after the things he said to me. I was out and about on the town for the weekend, celebrating a friend's birthday when this guy came up to me.

He asked me if I was still fighting, and if I had a match coming up anytime soon, which is generally how every conversation starts when people approach me, lol. He told me he'd been keeping up with my career. He congratulated me for getting to go so many places, and boxing on TV, and all that. "Yeah," I said, "but I have been losing quite a bit and I am very disappointed in how I have been doing"  -- which is true because, I have lost like four straight matches.

“You know, Travis, you're looking at it all wrong, man," he said. "Think about it: You came from a tiny-ass town in Osborn, Missouri. How many people from there, or anywhere for that matter, can say that they got to box professionally on HBO, ESPN and Showtime, and fought in so many different countries? You are getting to do what so many people only dream to do, bro. I also heard you are suppose to be fighting at the Playboy Mansion soon. How bad-ass is that? What person can say they got to do that? None.”

I think the average person may have let that conversation go to their head, but it turned out just the opposite for me. I was extremely humbled by the whole conversation. To be honest, it really pissed me off. I feel like I have an obligation to make it in this rough and tough world of professional boxing, for all the people who said I couldn’t do it. I realize I am just a small fish in a gigantic pond, but I am a fish starving for a victory. I have forgotten what it tastes like to win -- it has been so long.

Win or lose, I know that I bring my heart and soul into that ring and leave the rest up to my man, God, to power me through it.

“Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.” I don’t know who said this, but it is very true.




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