Female boxer: Husband attacked me

Published Nov. 24, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

Well-known female boxer Christy Martin was hospitalized with serious injuries Tuesday night that she says were inflicted by her husband, according to multiple reports.

Martin, 42, flagged down a motorist in Orange County, Fla., around 6:45 p.m. ET. The driver took her to a local hospital, where doctors determined she had been shot and stabbed in the torso and left leg, according to the Los Angeles Times.

None of the injuries appeared to be life threatening, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.

Martin was conscious when police reached the hospital and told them the attacker was her husband and trainer, 66-year-old James Martin, the Times reported.

Christy Martin had been gone a few days, and when she returned home, she said, her husband confronted her and stabbed her. She said she was able to leave on her own, according to the sheriff's office.

"The victim told deputies she was able to get out of the house after being stabbed and flag down the motorist who drove her to the hospital," spokesman Jim Solomons said in a press release. "She did not realize she had been shot during the altercation."

Police did not find James Martin at the home, but they did find signs of a struggle, the Times reported.


Authorities are continuing their search for James Martin, who is described as a 5-foot-10, 165-pound, bald white man with brown eyes.

He might a danger to himself, the Orlando Sentinel reported, and deputies are concerned for his safety.

According to records obtained by the Sentinel, deputies were called to the Martins’ home twice Tuesday.

An out-of-state caller told the Sheriff's Office that James Martin was distraught about his relationship with Christy and was suicidal, the Sentinel reported. The caller also told authorities there were weapons inside the home.

Deputies responded to the couple's home about 1 p.m. ET Tuesday and found James Martin talking with a neighbor, Sheriff's spokesman Solmons told the newspaper. Christy Martin was not home at the time.

James Martin didn't appear to be drunk, suicidal or despondent, Solomons said, and deputies left the scene in about 45 minutes.

Then, about 6 hours later, deputies were sent back to the house after Christy Martin arrived at the hospital with several stab and gunshot wounds. James Martin was not home.

Deputies had not received any calls to the Martin home before Tuesday, Solomons told the Sentinel.

Christy Martin, who was born Christy Salters in 1968 in Bluefield, W.Va., is credited with being a key figure in legitimizing women's participation in the sport of boxing. She began fighting at age 21 and gained fame in the 1990s with a long string of wins, even appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Martin had a career record of 49-5 with three draws and 31 Knockouts. Her last fight was on Sept. 2, 2009, when she won a majority decision over Dakota Stone in 10 rounds.

Martin, nicknamed “The Coal Miner’s Daughter,” was scheduled to participate in the biggest fight in women’s boxing history on June 30, 2005. She was to face Lucia Rijker, who had appeared in the Academy Award-winning film “Million Dollar Baby,” in Las Vegas. The winner would get a $1 million payday.

But a few weeks before the highly anticipated bout, Rijker pulled out and the fight was canceled and never rescheduled.

James Martin was a boxer himself, having compiled a 17-9 pro record as a light heavyweight in the 1970s. He was training male boxers when he was introduced him to Christy, who was then working as a substitute  teacher.

When the idea was broached that he train Christy, according to canadastarboxing.com, Jim Martin said, "At first I said, No'. Then I thought I would let her spar with a couple of my fighters, and she would be run out of the ring. But it didn't work out that way. She held her own, and I was impressed. I changed my mind.

"Then, one thing led to another. We fell in love and got married."