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.





Love what you do, and do what you love

Thursday, June 25, 2009 -- 6:30 p.m.

Why do I do it? Why do I choose to make a living being a professional boxer? A question I have been asked repeatedly over and over by so many people, including the athletic commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission — Gregory “Mighty Man” Sirb. (Read more about him below in my March 20 blog.)

Some might classify my decision to be a professional boxer as dumb, or risky, or even downright silly. But what most people don’t realize is that I wake up every day loving what I do. How many people in this world are living a life or doing a job they absolutely hate? Well, I was fortunate enough to find a career that I absolutely love. I love going to the gym smelling the courage and desire that floats in the air of a true boxing gym. Boxing is not for the faint of heart. It is not for the weary or undetermined minds.

I get bumps and bruises. My pride gets tested everyday. I stand in the mirror every single day and ask myself, "Am I doing what I love?" My answer is a simple "Oh yes." Even the days when my face may be a little swollen, or I have two black eyes, or stitches hanging out of my left eyelid, my answer is still "Oh yes."

With that being said, I am currently sitting on a very poor sub-.500 record after my last loss to 6-foot-3 Willie Nelson on June 13.  I want to first say that I think my boxing career is one huge drama, full of low blows, illegal punches and ridiculous outcomes. I think I am cursed and may now consider myself a drama queen. It seems like I have a story to tell after almost every fight. I am completely honest and have Wikipedia to back up my stories in almost every instance.

But, this was another fight that I was forced to get up off the canvas after an “unintentional low blow.” It took me a full 4 minutes to recover. I could have chosen to quit the fight right then and there — and maybe I should have, because I could barely stand, let alone fight — but I chose to fight on like a true fighter does. My corner realized that I was not fully recovered from the illegal punch to the “groin” and my father/head trainer chose to call the fight off to protect me from further and unnecessary punishment. I suffered an accidental head butt in Round One, plus two other punches that were below the belt, but fought through it.

 Meanwhile, this kid was 6-foot-3 and he hit me below the belt. How in the world is that unintentional? Either way he got the victory and I was sent home with a swollen left cheek bone from the clash of heads and swollen something else down south. 

After a week vacation in Miami, Florida with one of my good friends and younger brother, I am feeling very refreshed and ready for my next match. For once, I won't have to travel across the country to fight some undefeated prospect. Instead I'll fight in front of all my friends and family in my hometown July 17. I haven't fought in my home town for exactly one year. It will be a very exciting homecoming. All my friends and family will be in for a treat, as I am planning a very explosive coming-out party. I have been without a win for too damn long.

Love what you do, and do what you love. Also, RIP Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.




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