Women's Boxer Christy Martin Overcomes Attack and Sets Sights on 50th Win

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On the next Why We Watch

For a time in the mid-1990s, the biggest name in boxing wasn’t Lennox Lewis—or Evander Holyfield or even Mike Tyson.  It wasn’t even a guy—she was Christy Martin.

Growing up in southern West Virginia, Christy (then Salters) was an all-state basketball player who looked forward to a career as a teacher when she got to college.

But a tryout in a women’s Toughman Contest changed all that.  She was then introduced to boxing trainer Jim Martin. She learned to fight and was hooked on the sweet science. Jim would become her trainer, manager and husband.

After some success, she signed with Don King, and her career would never be the same.

Christy burst onto the national boxing scene with several action-packed matches on the undercards of Mike Tyson bouts in 1995 and 1996.

Her bouts—complete with furious combinations, (at times) blood and plenty of knockouts—would be the topic of water-cooler chatter after every pay-per-view performance.

She was so popular that Sports Illustrated chose her as a cover girl in April of 1996.

She would make millions in the fight game, but age and a limited supply of quality opponents slowed her career.

But one goal still eluded her—a 50th win.

In 2010, as she was going after that milestone, a horrible incident would change everything.

A marriage that appeared happy to the public was not so happy in private. An incident in her home left her with stab and gunshot wounds, fighting for her life—and her husband under arrest and charged with attempted murder.

Why We Watch catches up with Christy as she discusses her life, the attack and her hopes for another shot at 50 wins.

 

Why We Watch

Director/Producer: Jim Forman

Editors: Christopher Coots, Mike Kattenburg

DP: Brent Christy, Lance Darrell

Sound: 
Jack Pennington

 

Special Thanks to:

Christy Martin

Steve Farhood

Showtime

Getty Images

Ultimate Gym/Charlotte, NC

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