Netflix Doc Explores Saga of Christy Salters Martin, Boxing Champ and Domestic Violence Survivor
In the 90s, boxer Christy Salters Martin was a phenomenon.
She became world famous after she won a ferocious undercard match before a Mike Tyson fight in 1996. Subsequently, she landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
She totaled 49 wins in her career, including 31 by knockout.
Dubbed "The Coal Miner's Daughter" in reference to her father's job and her West Virginia roots, she broke pay-per-view records in women's boxing with the help of promoter Don King.
But her personal life was fraught with substance abuse, conflicts about her sexuality and domestic violence at the hands of her husband, Jim Martin, who was also her trainer. She married her husband when she was 23 — and he was more than 20 years her senior.
A new installment of Netflix's sports documentary series Untold examines the abuse Salters Martin endured — which brought her within an inch of her life. In the episode, titled "Deal with the Devil," Salters Martin details her husband's obsessional nature and the control he exerted over all facets of her life.
"My parents came to see me, and I took my mom outside and told her then, 'Jim is videotaping and audiotaping everything that is said and happens inside the house,'" the champion fighter says in an exclusive clip obtained by PEOPLE, which is shown below. (Untold: Deal With the Devil, started streaming Aug. 17.
Adds Salters Martin: "He was a master manipulator. He had conned my mother into thinking that she had to stay close to him in order to know what I was doing."
In 2010, Salters Martin, then 42 and training for a comeback fight, finally decided to leave the abusive relationship. In response, Martin, 66, stabbed her multiple times and shot her once in the chest with her pink .9mm handgun in their Apopka, Fla., home, CBS News reports.
Salters Martin survived the attack and Martin went on trial. He claimed that he was the victim — but was convicted of second-degree attempted murder and aggravated battery in 2012.
He was sentenced to 35-years in a Florida prison. He is serving his time at Graceville Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility in Graceville.
In the documentary, Salters Martin talks about how she reclaimed her life after the violent attack. Today, she is married to former boxer Lisa Holewyne and supports family abuse survivors through her non-profit Christy's Champs.
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She also has spoken at high schools, colleges, jails and events for domestic violence awareness around the country.
She is also the owner of the boxing promotion company, Christy Martin Promotions and has an upcoming fight in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on August 28.
She was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2020.
Also interviewed for the Netflix episode are Christy's parents, along with Mike Tyson, Laila Ali. Martin himself is also interviewed for the first time since his incarceration.
Martin is scheduled to be released in 2035, according to prison records.
Untold: Deal with the Devil began streaming on Aug. 17 on Netflix.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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