By Sylvana Ambrosanio

I had the pleasure and sat down with Christy Martin in 2009. Check out what Christy Martin who was the first women to be ever shown on a PPV fight has to say in an exclusive interview.

SA: You were one of the first women to be a recognizable and respectful role in women-boxing. How did you get involved in the sport?

CM: I started on a dare while I was in college, some friends dared me to enter a tough man/tough woman contest.  I was fortunate enough to win, but I fought some “tough women”, they were like barroom fighters and I was in a little better physical condition.  I played basketball in college, so my conditioning got me through the tournament and I was able to win the event by beating three different women.

SA: How do you deal with being a woman in a male dominated sport?

CM: I just always tried to fit in to the world of boxing.  We live in a man’s world anyway and I don’t have a problem with that. I like for a man to open doors for me.

SA: How hard was it for you when you look back to get a spot on a fighting card on TV or even on a fight card were normally just men were fighting?

CM: I came up the hard way, like most male professional, selling tickets, paying to get on shows, not getting paid sometimes just to get a fight.

SA: How difficult was it for women’s boxing to get respected enough to be aired on TV? 

CM: I was very lucky that Don King was my promoter and he believed in me. He gave me an opportunity that no other woman fighter has ever been given.  Showtime also stood behind me and gave me a lot of support.  I even did boxing commercials for Showtime back in ’96.

SA: When you look back you was the first women to be ever shown on a PPV fight card. How does it feel for you?

CM: Being on the PPV cards with Mike Tyson was unbelievable.  Words cannot describe how I felt.  I know that I wanted to fight so hard because I knew that everyone would be watching and I didn’t want to stink up a Tyson show or a DKP show.

SA: What is your first boxing memory?

CM: I remember watching boxing with my dad.  He really liked Earnie Shaviers because he was such a puncher.  My first favorite fighter was Hector Camacho—I thought he was cute and I liked his cockiness. 

SA: Do you think it’s hard for women in the sport of boxing, why do you think they still prefer men’s boxing?

CM: Women boxing will never be equal to men boxing, but if the women stay with the sport and continue to develop their skills women boxing will gain more fans.  I think I was just lucky and in the right place at the right time.

SA: Do you think the world of boxing has changed now that there’s MMA?

CM: I think the younger generation is more into MMA, because of the no holds barred attitude, but I think it is just a phase. Boxing has been around since the beginning of sports and it will make a comeback.  We just need someone to come along like a young Don King, he knows how to promote.  All of his shows were “events” not just boxing matches.

SA: When do you expect your next fight to be and who would you like to fight next in the middleweight division?

CM: We have a lot of irons in the fire right now.  I hope this summer is busy for me.  I will fight anyone from 147-160.  I would like a rematch with Valerie Mafhood, because I think the decision (a draw) was unfair.  I would fight Ann Wolfe, Lalia Ali, China Girl, or Braechus—I don’t care I am getting in great shape and want to be back on the big stage.

SA: What does your training look like? 

CM: I am training very hard.  Lifting weights five days a week, running harder than I have in a long time and my gym work is back to what it was ten years ago.  I am sparring with a lot of different guys to prepare me for whatever comes my way. My favorite part to training is sparring for sure, I love to go to war.

SA: How would you describe your boxing style?

CM: I am very aggressive and always looking for the ko.  I get hit a lot, but I feel like I can take two or three of your to get off one of mine.

SA: Regarding nutrition, do you have a strict nutritional regimen or do you pretty much eat whatever you want?

CM: I always struggle with my weight, but this time around I am trying to get the weight down early.  I love Mexican food and chocolate. 

SA: What is the toughest fight you have had so far?

CM: Most of the time I say the toughest fight I have had is with me and that is kinda still the answer.  I have a hard time living with the fact that I took a knee against Laila Ali.  I should have gotten up one more time, I would have felt better about the outcome had she knocked me out.  I feel like I quit on me and all of the people that have supported me throughout my career.

SA: Is there anything you wish you would have done different?

CM: Get up again in the Ali fight.

SA: What are your goals?

CM: I really want to get to 50 wins—short term.  Long term just to keep giving back to boxing working with our amateur program.

SA: What is the motivation behind your career?

CM: I love what I do.  I love the excitement around the big fights and with Don King the money wasn’t bad either.

SA: If you could write your own script, what would the next 10 years of your life look like?

CM: The next year I would fight every four to six weeks, continue working with our amateur program and develop some champions both amateur and professional.  I am forty-one (6/12), but still have thoughts of being a mother.  I would love to continue working in the boxing world.  I am pretty sure that a book is in the future.

SA: Do you see yourself as a role model for the ladies out there?

CM: I think I am an example of what anyone can accomplish in life. You just have to be dedicated to your goals.

SA: Do you have any advice for everyone out there?

CM: Don’t take no for an answer.

SA: What do you do in your free time to relax or for fun?

CM: Most of my day is centered around boxing, either training myself or helping Jim with the amateurs.  I am on the phone a lot trying to make matches.  Our amateurs fight an average of twice a month, so it is a lot of work getting them matches and trying to secure finances to cover the trips.

SA: What is your favorite quote?

CM: You can run, but you can’t hide.  I take that as you have to face up to the decisions you make in life, as well as in the ring you can try to stay away from my power, but I am going to track you down eventually.

SA: Do you have anything you would like to tell boxing fans?

CM: I am putting 100% of myself into getting ready for the upcoming fights. I am going for all or nothing, back to the seek and destroy attitude and not so much trying to be smart and looking for the safe way to win.  I am going back to living dangerously.  Thank you for all of the kind words of support over the years and to the naysayers thank you for the motivation to prove you wrong