Travis Hartman

of The Boxing Amusement Park

Image by FlamingText.com

Travis Hartman was a spectacular amateur boxer -- 156-13, with three national championships -- who has struggled as a pro. The 27-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.





Pacquiao, Hopkins
deserve the benefit
of the doubt


The Boxing Amusement Park

  I am a little tired of the Manny Pacquaio lifers screaming "Why is Manny the only one getting accused of steroid use, when a soon-to-be 46-year-old ex-convict has never once been accused?"

  One main and very explosive reason why Bernard Hopkins hasn't been accused is that he's not knocking top contenders out cold.

Let me show you how well I can navigate through boxrec.com.

Manny retired Oscar De La Hoya, a man who had previously been stopped just once in his career -- and that was by a career middleweight who now campaigns as a light heavyweight (Hopkins). Then Manny scored a second-round KO of Ricky Hatton, a man who also had lost just once -- by a late-round knockout to Floyd Mayweather Jr. He left Hatton motionless for several minutes in what was the most devastating knockout of the Brit’s career and virtually finished him as a fighter.

In his latest outing, he went up in weight to fight for the vacant light middleweight title against Antonio Margarito, who, at 5-foot-11, was a giant compared to the 5-foot-6 Pacquiao. He dominated the bigger foe, battering him from pillar to post, sending him to the hospital for plastic surgery.

Each of the aforementioned fighters was a multi-division world champion.

Pacquiao turned pro 15 years ago at the ripe ol' weight of 106 pounds and campaigned below 130 from 1995 to 2008.

Great fighters beat other great fighters for numerous reasons, but Pacquiao has done all this while moving up in weight and winning titles in a record eight different weight divisions -- and most of his victories have come by knockout.

Pacquiao barely beat Juan Manuel Marquez by a split decision in a bout fought at 130 pounds back in 2008, but now, since jumping to 154 pounds, he is suddenly knocking out future Hall of Famers in devastating fashion.

    Back to Hopkins, who has only moved up two weight divisions since turning pro and hasn't recorded a knockout victory since, coincidently, knocking out a much-smaller De La Hoya back in September of 2004.

     The fact remains That neither guy has failed a drug test, but is boxing up to par with its drug testing? Do they test like Major League Baseball or the Natoinal Football League? The answer is, no.

Though I've never fought on the level of a Pacquiao or Hopkins, I have fought in 28 professional boxing matches. Many of my fights were broadcast live on HBO pay-per-view, ESPN2, Showtime, Telefutura, Azteca America, Fox Sports and major networks in Canada and Germany. I even opened the HBO pay-per-view telecast in June of 2006 when Hopkins was the main event. My point is, in 28 professional bouts spanning six years, I've been tested only a handful of times for steroids. If a MLB or NFL player was tested just a handful of times in six years, that might raise a few questions for many fans, don’t you think?

Is Hopkins clean? Yes, far as we can all see. Is Pacquiao clean? Yes, far as we can see.

Who knows what the future holds, but instead of pointing fingers, we should enjoy the great performances Pacquiao and Hopkins have given us thus far.

   I have been critical of both men in the past, but after a valiant effort by Hopkins when he “beat” Jean Pascal, and after Pacquaio just put a beatdown on Margarito I have been just as gracious in giving both men there due. I stand by my previous statements and firmly stand by my views on Pacquiao’s promoter.

The great Jimmy Buffet put it best, I think, when he said, “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than it takes to see the bad.”


Previous blogs by Travis Hartman


Bernard Hopkins shows his true colors


Dear Mr. Arum: Have you gone in-Sainz?


Work ethic separates men from immortals


Injury, layoff inspire an appreciation of my gifts


Remembering a superman named Roy Jones Jr.


Call it an off night for Devon Alexander


Hey! I was that kid who whipped today's No. 4 P4P!


Does boxing need power-mongers like Bob Arum?


Athlete vs. Writer: Two Sides of The Interview


Auto wreck delays rematch with Teddy Atlas


Manny & Me: Six Degrees of Separation


'Better to try and fail than never try at all'


'At fight time, you're on your own'


'Pull a Buster Douglas on them'


Training (but, regrettably, not partying) with Arturo


Ready to do battle for the hometown crowd

Love what you do, and do what you love

Living a dream in a rough, tough business

Another step, and a big fight in my career

This fight's not over -- and it's no longer about me

A dream gig is suspended by the incompetence & arrogance


Never be afraid to dream (or fantasize?)


Raging in York & dreaming of Hef's house

Why I'm facing an unbeaten foe on short notice (again!)

Advice from a legend spurs this boxer on

The truth about the boxing game: 'Boxers don't play'

Early mornings, freezing weather, miles of roadwork ...

After a superb amateur career, the fighter evaluates why his pro experience has been so very different


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