Christy Renea Martin (born June 12, 1968) is a professional female boxer.
Martin was born in Mullens, West Virginia with the name Christy Salters. Her father, John, was a coal miner, and her mother, Joyce, a homemaker.
She played various sports as a child including Little League baseball and all-state basketball. She attended Concord College in Athens, West Virginia on a basketball scholarship and earned a B.S. in education.
Martin is said to be “the most successful and prominent female boxer in the United States” and the person who “legitimized” women’s participation in the sport of boxing. She began her career fighting in “Toughwoman” contests and won three consecutive titles. She then began training with boxing coach, Jim Martin, who became her husband in 1991. On Tuesday, November 23, 2010, Martin was shot and stabbed allegedly by her husband, Jim Martin.
Martin started her professional boxing career at the age of 21 with a six round loss to Andrea Buchanan in 1989. Martin won the rematch one month later with a second round knockout. Andrea DeShong then beat Martin in a decision a five round decision. Martin then had nineteen consecutive wins, including two against Jamie Whitcomb and Suzanne Riccio-Major as well a rubber match win against Buchanan. On October 15, 1993 Martin had her first title fight against Beverly Szymansky, for the WBC women's Jr. Welterweight world championship. Martin won by knocking out Szymansky in three rounds. In her first title defense, she fought to a draw against debutant Laura Serrano in Las Vegas.
Martin defended her title six more times, including a rematch with Szymansky, a fourth fight with Buchanan and defenses versus Melinda Robinson and Sue Chase, winning all of them, before the fight that many credit for putting women's boxing on the sports fans' radar took place: On March 16, 1996, she and Deirdre Gogarty fought what many consider a great fight, in front of Showtime cameras. Martin got the decision, and after that bout, she began to gain more celebrity, even appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated once shortly afterwards.
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