Who Tried to Kill Boxing Champion Christy Martin?

Christy Martin
World champion boxer Christy Martin signs autographs during the boxing card show at the International Boxing Hall of Fame for the Weekend of Champions induction events on June 9, 2018 in Canastota, New York. (Photo Credit: Alex Menendez | Getty Images)

Disclaimer: The article contains mentions of physical abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

Time and again, several female boxers have earned recognition within the sport. Among them is the now-retired 55-year-old American boxer Christy Martin. Boxing fans often consider Christy Martin to be one of the most relevant and successful female boxers in American history. Additionally, they give her credit for legitimizing the participation of women in this sport.

Since her father was a coal miner, her nickname is The Coal Miner’s Daughter. Her career, which lasted from 1989 to 2012, saw several ups and downs, but out of the 59 fights she was in, she won 49 of them. Besides, among the 49 wins, 31 were impressive victories by knockout.

During the early days of her career, she met boxing coach James V. Martin and began training under him. Eventually, the pair tied the knot in 1991. They spent several years together, but in 2010, Christy Martin’s husband tried to murder her.

According to People Magazine, James Martin was abusive, and on November 23, 2010, he brutally attacked his wife in the bedroom of their Florida home. He first stabbed her in the chest four times and then shot her. When James went to the bathroom to take a shower, Christy escaped. She then asked a stranger for help, who took her to a hospital. After doctors examined her, they learned that due to the violent encounter, she had punctured a lung and could have died because the bullet was only three inches from her heart.

The 2021 Netflix documentary Untold: Deal with the Devil delves deep into Christy Martin’s life, career, and struggles. On the other hand, recent reports suggest that Sydney Sweeney will portray the boxer in an upcoming David Michôd-directed biopic.

What happened to Christy Martin’s husband?

Per Orlando Sentinel, in April 2012, the court found James V. Martin guilty of aggravated battery and attempted second-degree murder with a firearm. They sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

The retired boxer and her coach, James V. Martin, met when they were 22 and 47 years old, respectively. People Magazine reported that although Christy identifies herself as a lesbian, she had married James to meet her family’s expectations.

However, a few days before the aforementioned attack, Christy informed her husband that she was going to leave him to be with a woman named Sherry Lusk. Christy and Sherry knew each other from high school. A week after the attack, authorities apprehended James from a neighbor’s shed, where he hid to avoid arrest. Following his arrest, the police hospitalized him since he possessed a bloody knife and also had self-inflicted stab wounds.

The outlet reported that during James’ trial, his attorney, Bill Hancock, argued that his client was innocent and that such “a loving and devoted husband” couldn’t commit such an act. In a conversation with 48 Hours, Hancock said, “There is not convincing evidence in this case, beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Martin intended to kill Christy.”

However, two Orange County prosecutors, Ryan Vescio and Deborah Barra, stated that Christy’s husband was an abuser. Vescio noted, “Jim’s control and abuse led to psychological abuse, physical abuse. He started to provide her with controlled substances and…put Christy in a very compromised position to where she had to rely on Jim or else her career would be over.”

Meanwhile, the former boxing champion made a full recovery.

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