Jackie Kallen on Boxing: Christy Martin – How Much Can One woman endure?

By Jackie Kallen

How much can one woman endure? I feel so bad for Christy Martin. Her luck doesn’t seem to be getting much better. I have known Christy for over 20 years and this past year has been her worst ever.

Last November her husband Jim stabbed and shot her during a heated argument. Thankfully she managed to run out of the house and flag down a passing motorist. After a lengthy recovery, and with Jim locked up in jail, Christy announced her plans to fight again. The boxing world applauded her courage and determination. This would be win #50. A proud milestone in an illustrious career.

Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank

A fight with Dakota Stone was scheduled for March 12, 2011. This would be a rematch of their 2009 encounter, which Christy won. As always, Christy embraced training and gave it her all in preparation. She attempted to brush off the rust that had accumulated in the year-and-a-half since her last fight and get herself in good shape.

It was not to be. A rib injury caused Christy to pull out and postpone the match. Although she was disappointed and depressed about it, she soldiered on and did not give up her dream of her 50th win. The fight was rescheduled for June 4 at the Staples Center on the undercard of Chavez Jr./Zbik.

Sitting a few rows from Christy’s corner, I could see the determination on her face as she climbed into the ring. Her attorney Gloria Allred sat nearby, cheering her on. Her corner, dressed in pink satin corner jackets, looked confident and relaxed.

Christy was easily winning the fight. She was shaking off the rust and plowing forward. About midway through the scheduled six rounder, it appeared that Christy wasn’t using her right hand much. The ringside doctor came to her corner between the 4th and 5th rounds, and after a terse conversation, he allowed the fight to proceed.

During the sixth (and final) round, however, the doctor stopped the fight when Christy turned away from Dakota in apparent agony. Though she protested and argued that she could finish the fight, the bout was over. Christy was ahead on all the scorecards, but Dakota Stone was awarded the victory.

Christy showed me her mangled hand after the fight, and in over 30 years in this sport, I can’t remember seeing a worse break. It would be amazing if she were able to box again in less than six months. By then, she will be 43 years old. And there’s no telling how the stress of Jim Martin’s trial will effect Christy.

No matter how this all plays out, however, Christy Martin is a champ in my book. I believe her luck will turn around and she will eventually get that 50th career win. She is a tough warrior with a big heart. There’s no quit in the Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen

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