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.





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


March 5, 2009

Here I go again. I signed to fight Terrance Crawford on Saturday, March 7, in York, Pennsylvania. Yes, I have only been in training for a solid two-and-a-half weeks. I have not had any sparring, and I'm facing another undefeated, up-and-coming prospect who was the No. 1-ranked amateur in the United States. Now he's 5-0, with three knockouts, as a pro.

The odds are stacked against me, but what else would you expect out of me?  Since losing my very first professional fight to Julio Ceasar Chavez Jr., I've lost to opponents who have won a combined 116 fights. Four of those guys are still undefeated, and two are ranked in the top five in the world. I've been strongly encouraged by those close to me to stop taking such tough fights -- and to stop taking them on such short notice. (Less than a week, in this case.) After I lost to Jorge Paez Jr. on HBO, our local television broadcaster asked me “Travis why keep taking such tough fights?”  

“I don’t care if my record is 7-22," I told him. "I'll beat one of these guys and prove to myself that I can beat a top-level guy.”

I'm now 9-10 as a pro, but I still stand by that statement. One of these times one of these guys will catch me when I am 100-percent prepared, and everybody will see the best Travis Hartman. I truly love the sport and I thank God everyday I am able to compete on the professional level.

I am going into Saturday's fight with the expectation of putting on a great performance and possibly landing a fight at the Playboy Mansion later this month.

Training is tough and hard. At times I wonder why I chose such an extremely tough sport. Quickly, though, my alter ego chimes in, telling me, "You do this sport because there is no greater feeling than digging deep down inside your soul, while your face is marred with your own blood, your body is seconds from failing, your inner demons are urging you to stop, chants of the critics are echoing in your ear. In the end, though, you realize that, at worst, if you fail, you fail daring to be great, leaving no regrets, leaving all haters behind who know neither victory nor defeat, and reining supreme for just that one moment in time."

This, this is why I will always dare to be great. To be the best you have to beat the best.




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