She was the face of women’s boxing when it first captured the nation’s attention in the mid-1990’s. West Virginia-native Christy Martin fought on several Mike Tyson undercards, capturing fans’ attention by combining a brawling style in the ring with a dash of femininity outside it. Guiding Martin throughout her career was her trainer and husband, Jim Martin.
ESPN E:60’s Lisa Salters and Jim Martin
While they outwardly appeared to be a loving couple, privately, according to Christy, the Martin’s were living a lie — Christy was a lesbian. It was a lie that came to a head last November when Christy told Jim she was leaving him for another woman. It was then, according to Christy, that Jim attacked her, stabbing her, shooting her and leaving her for dead.
E:60’s Lisa Salters interviews Christy Martin, who, for the first time on TV, talks about her relationship with her husband, the attack that nearly killed her, her battle with cocaine and her return to the boxing ring — now as an openly gay woman. Also featured is an exclusive interview with Jim Martin, who reveals his story from the Florida prison where he awaits trial.
Excerpts from Lisa Salters-Jim Martin interview:
Lisa Salters: “Christy told me that you knew that she was gay when you guys got married.”
Jim Martin: “I knew that she had gay relationships, yes, before we got married.”
Salters: “How did that affect your thoughts about getting married, if at all?”
Martin: “She told me it was just due to circumstances, that she really wasn’t gay.”
Lisa Salters: “Christy says that you stabbed her repeatedly and shot her. What’s your response to that?”
Jim Martin: “I did not.”
E:60, ESPN’s award-winning news magazine, makes its Fall debut on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. ET. In addition to the Christy Martin story, tomorrow’s episode includes features on: last off-season’s most sought-after NFL free agent, Philadelphia Eagle Nnamdi Asomugha; former Cincinnati Bengal, Ickey Woods; and a look behind the making of ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue.”