The life and near death of prizefighter Christy Salters-Martin

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Al Bello/Allsport


Christy Salters-Martin dominated in the boxing ring but faced her toughest challenger at home. A look inside her turbulent marriage and evidence used in the attempted murder trial of her ex-husband, Jim Martin.

Former world champion Christy Salters-Martin is credited with legitimizing women’s boxing. She is the only female boxer ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

One of the Weapons Used

Gun used in Christy Martin shooting

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


On November 23, 2010, Christy’s husband Jim Martin stabbed and shot her with her own pink 9mm handgun.

Christy Martin Survives

Christy Martin

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


This is the story of the marriage, the attack and how Christy Martin lived to testify against her husband.  

This is the story of the marriage, the attack and how Christy lived to testify against her husband.  

Christy and Jim Meet

Christy Martin

Bill Frakes/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images


Christy Salters met her coach and trainer Jim Martin when she was 22 and he was 47. 

Christy and Jim Marry

Christy Martin

The Ring Magazine via Getty Images


A year later, Christy and Jim were married at city hall. Christy says it was a business deal —  not a love story — because she identifies as gay.

Young Christy Salters

Christy Martin

Christy Martin


Christy Martin says that by the 5th or 6th grade, she knew she was attracted to women.

Christy’s First Love

Christy Martin

Richard Davidson


Christy Martin, right, kept her first girlfriend, fellow high school athlete Sherry Lusk, a secret from her family. 

Christy & Her Parents

Christy Martin

Christy Martin


Her parents would later find out that Christy was dating girls and she says they couldn’t accept it. They have since come around and accepted her, but Christy says at the time she went away to college and started boxing to win her freedom. 

Jim Knew Everything

Christy Martin

Pat Orr


Jim Martin knew about Christy’s past and she says he used it to control her — threatening to expose her secrets if she left him. She says she was not emotionally strong enough to fight back.

In the Spotlight

Christy Martin

Jed Jacobsohn/Allsport


In 1996, Don King made Christy Martin world famous when he featured her on a Pay-Per-View event headlined by Mike Tyson. 

The Crime Scene

Christy Martin

Christy Martin


Christy Martin says the money she made after that fight paid for Jim’s extravagant lifestyle, and their home in Apopka, Florida. In November 2010, that home became a crime scene.

Christy & Her First Love Reconnect

Christy Martin

Christy Martin


In March 2010, Christy Martin, right, and her high school girlfriend Sherry Lusk connected on social media. In November 2010, Christy told Jim Martin she wanted a divorce.

Moments Before the Crime

Christy Martin

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


On November 23, 2010, after spending the night with Sherry Luck, Christy Martin arrived home expecting a fight with Jim. She says she was putting on her running shoes when Jim walked in and said, “I have something to show you.”

The Knife

Christy Martin

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Christy says Jim Martin had this buck knife behind his back.

The Pink Gun

Christy Martin

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Christy says Jim Martin also had her pink 9mm handgun. 

The Crime Scene

Christy Martin

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Christy Martin was stabbed several times in the chest. Her left leg was cut nearly to the bone.

Following the Trail of Jim’s Blood

martin-17.jpg

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Police would later find drops of Jim Martin’s blood in several rooms. Christy says she could hear him walking around while she was on the bedroom floor bleeding. 

Christy’s Cell Phone

Martin evidence

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Christy Martin says she begged Jim to call 911. Instead, she says he taunted her and removed the battery from her cell phone.

House Phones Disabled

Martin evidence

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Jim Martin also disconnected two house phones.

A Bullet Casing

Martin bullet casing

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Christy Martin says Jim then shot her in the chest with her own gun. Christy says she then lost consciousness.

Water in the Shower

Martin evidence

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


An hour after the fight began, Christy Martin says she regained consciousness and heard Jim taking a shower. Police photos show water in the shower and blood on the bathroom floor.

The Wrong Car Keys

martin-22.jpg

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


While Jim Martin was showering, Christy got up off the floor, grabbed the gun and car keys and fled. But when she got outside, she realized she took the wrong car keys.

A Brave, Passing Motorist

martin-23.jpg

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Christy Martin flagged down a passing driver. When he rolled down his window, she tossed her bloody gun into his car, jumped into the backseat and begged him to take her to the emergency room. 

Christy Martin Survives

martin-24.jpg

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


At the emergency room, doctors stabilized Christy Martin, then airlifted her to a nearby trauma center. Surgeons decided not to remove a bullet lodged three inches from her heart until she was stronger.

Christy Martin’s Injuries

Christy Martin

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Doctors stitched four deep stab wounds in Christy Martin’s chest and the gash in her left leg.

Jim Martin is Found

martin-26.jpg

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


While doctors worked to save Christy Martin’s life, Jim Martin went missing. Seven days later, he was found not far from the crime scene, in a bush by this abandoned house. 

Jim Martin’s Hideout

martin-27.jpg

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Jim Martin told police that Christy attacked him, and he ran in fear to the shed belonging to a neighbor and close friend. There, he says he slipped into a coma until that very morning.

The Knife is Found

martin-28.jpg

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


When police found Jim Martin, he had the buck knife used to stab Christy and this bloody T-shirt.

Jim Martin’s Wounds

Jim Martin

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


At the hospital, doctors treated several small cuts and one large gash on Jim Martin’s right hand. Christy would later testify that Jim got that cut while he was stabbing her.

Jim Martin Arrested

martin-30.jpg

Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida


Jim Martin was charged with first-degree attempted murder. He was held without bail, until jury selection began on April 23, 2012.

For the rest of the story, watch “Christy Martin: The Fight of Her Life” –  an all-new”48 Hours.” 



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