Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Travis Hartman. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Travis, appreciate you joining us today. Is there a heartwarming story from your career that you look back on?
I am originally from Osborn, Missouri. No, you probably won’t be able to find it on a map. It’s a small town in Northwest Missouri with the population of only 400. It’s pretty safe to say we all pretty much know each other. Especially since I was born in St. Joseph, Missouri and lived in Osborn from the time I was in kindergarten until I was about 28 when I moved to Florida. The reason I say that is because a family I knew in a neighboring town had a child that was diagnosed with cancer at about 4 months old. By the grace of God their child recovered but in the process they wanted to help others in their situation. So they started a not for profit foundation called The Rose Lowenstein Foundation for Childhood Cancer Awareness. They would do a fundraiser every year to raise money and help other families who went through similar situations. In 2018 they reached out to me about teaming up with them and doing something boxing related to help bring awareness and raise some money to help other families. At this time I am living in Orlando, Florida but my only stipulation with them was this event had to be in Osborn, my hometown. Billy and Brittany Lowenstein, founders, agreed completely. They came up with the amazing name called Fight For the Fearless presented by The Hartman Team. Unfortunately and fortunately there happened to be a 3-year old child right there in the tiny town of Osborn that was battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. So we decided immediately that we would donate the proceeds to him and his family as well as make a donation to the Taylor “Flip” Finley Memorial Scholarship for graduating seniors in the local area who have battled childhood cancer and want to go on to college. A lot of people at first didn’t understand why we were doing it in such a small town and not a bigger city, but I wanted to pay homage to my hometown of Osborn. Growing up there helped make me who I am today. So I wanted to come back right there and put on an event.
I called up all my boxing friends, amateur and professional and invited them all out to take part in exhibitions for all the fans in attendance. All the fighters donated their time and efforts. We added a cool part to the show as we handed out blue and red pieces of paper for all those in attendance. Each boxer to start the match was assigned to fight out of the blue corner or the red corner and at the end of the action the crowd got to hold up card for whatever corner they thought performed the best. The crowd loved it and I think every match pretty much ended in a draw because the crowd was just so happy to see all the boxers there donating their time to such a good cause.
In the end we ended up exceeding our own expectations and were able to grant the family of the 3-year old $5,000 dollars as well as donate to the scholarship foundation. I felt so great about it all that we decided to make it an annual event. So we had a Fight For the Fearless 2 in 2019 as well and we were scheduled for another event in 2020, but Covid shut the whole world down, including Fight For the Fearless. In the end we ended up being able to raise and donate over $20,000 to those in need. Without the Rose Lowenstein Foundation and their team of volunteers as well as the boxers, none of it would have been possible. Still to this day I want to restart it back up and maybe one day I will be able to. Until then, I truly hope we helped a lot of people along the way and look forward to giving back again. My favorite quote from this all was from Muhammad Ali, “Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on earth.” And I truly try and live by that now!!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
Brace for this, I have a lot. I started boxing training at the age of 6 years old. Per USA boxing rules you can’t compete in a sanctioned amateur boxing match until you are 8 years old. I ended up amassing 156 wins and only 13 losses as an amateur boxer from 8 years old to 20 years old. In the process I won a bronze medal in the Junior Olympics at the age of 15. I was also a three-time national champion and because of my success I earned the Kansas City Golden Gloves boxing scholarship at the age of 17. I earned a full-ride boxing scholarship to go anywhere I wanted, I just had to stay amateur and compete in the Golden Gloves every year. I chose to stay close to home and went to Missouri Western State University because my father was my trainer from 6-years old on and he lived there. I fought in various national tournaments across the United States and was able to get ranked No. 5 in the United States by USA boxing magazine at the age of 17. This was important because the age group I was competing in was 17-32 years old. So, in 2004 I decided to compete in the Western Olympic trials in Bakersfield, California in hopes of winning it and qualifying for a spot on the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Well, in early January of 2004 while I was training for the Olympic trials I woke up early in the morning to our home on fire. It was a very old home and some old and faulty wiring in the attic caused the fire and the house was burnt and a total loss. I was set to fight in the Olympic trials Feb. 2-5 I believe. I decided I still wanted to give it a try and I ended up losing in the quarterfinals. After that I was approached by a professional boxing promoter Rob Calloway of All-American Promotions to turn pro in March of 2004. After discussing with my father, we decided to sign a three year pro contract with Calloway and his promotion. My first year as a pro would see me go undefeated in 5 professional matches with 4 coming by knockout. I ended up fighting all over the world in places like Canada, Germany, France, Denmark and training in Australia with fights in historic venues like Madison Square Garden and on television networks like HBO-PPV, Showtime Championship boxing, ESPN, Fox, Telemundo and a couple foreign networks like ARD in Germany to name a few. In this process of having over 45 professional boxing matches spanning from 2004 until present day, 2022, I started my own private training business called Travis Hartman Boxing LLC. As a family we owned and operated a private boxing gym in Missouri for about 8 years before I closed it down and moved to Florida in 2013. Then I took a break from training others and focused on my own training and in the midst of all that I started traveling with my girlfriend, now wife, and professional tennis player all over the world. Being moral support and helping with everything from training to making travel arrangements. It wasn’t until 2018 that we would build our first home together in Lake Nona and I would start my private training business, Travis Hartman Boxing LLC in 2019. I quickly started building a clientele for people who didn’t necessarily want to compete in boxing, rather they just wanted to do the workouts and have all the benefits of doing it, minus getting punched, lol. In this process I started training kids as young as 5-years old to over 60 years old. I’ve helped people get healthy through my carefully designed boxing workouts as well as helped many kids overcome bullying at school, and parents looking to shed a couple extra pounds and get back into shape. I also train kids and pros that want to actually compete. I do it all. I train professional boxers, amateur boxers and everyday people wanting to learn the sweet science of boxing. In the three years I have been doing this I became the No. 1 boxing training business in Orlando, Florida per YELP sources. I love helping people and passing on my passion for boxing in the process because it has helped make me who I am today!!
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
Honestly, I do what I love and I am genuine about what I do. I am a student of the boxing world and I pay attention to every little detail that goes with teaching. Like I tell my clients, I sculpt my lessons based on each client. Training someone isn’t a one size fits all type of deal. You have to care about your client for one, truly want to help them and then you have to give them 100% attention and time. That is exactly what I do. In the end, I get to do what I love and help people in the process and possibly impact lives in a positive manner along the way. I truly believe boxing has been my calling and I am just doing my absolute best to help as many people along the way!!!
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
I think when my house burned down when I was 20-years old less than three weeks before I was set to compete in my biggest Amateur boxing tournament and chance to fight in the Olympics was up there for sure. But also, I was involved in a car accident in 2010, one week before I was to fight professionally on ESPN, while I was on my way to the doctor to do my medicals for the boxing match. Before every professional boxing match you must complete a physical, eye exams and blood work before you can compete. It was February 19 I believe and I was driving to the doctors office to get my exams. While headed there it had started snowing and the roads were getting a little bad. As soon as I popped over a hill on a major highway I saw a diesel that was overturned sideways blocking both lanes of the highway and I was the first vehicle to come up on it. As I saw it I gently started to slow down sliding a little, but I came to an almost complete stop, but a car traveling about 60 mph didn’t make the stop and slammed into the back of my car. I ended up injuring my neck enough that it put me out of boxing for over two and a half years. I did make a comeback successfully in 2012 after being sidelined for over two years. I won my first two professional fights back, both my knockout. I went on to compete in cities all over the United States and fought in France in 2017. My last ever professional fight was in Louisiana in August of 2019. Although I have not announced my retirement from competing, I have become so busy with training others that it has almost become a forgone conclusion. But never say never.. I would like to compete one more time in Orlando, Florida!! So we will see.
- Website: www.travishartmanboxing.com
- Instagram: @realtravishartman
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boxnth/
- Linkedin: Travis Hartman
- Twitter: @realtravhartman
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/travis-hartman-boxing-orlando-2?osq=boxing+gyms