'48 Hours' Examines How Champion Boxer Christy Salters-Martin Survived Being Shot and Stabbed by Husband

Christy Martin (Getty Images)
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. Getty Images

In an upcoming episode of “48 Hours,” well-known boxer Christy Salters-Martin talks about her relationship with her abusive husband and how he tried to kill her. Salters-Martin, who knocked out 32 of 49 opponents in her boxing career, said she is now an advocate for women in abusive relationships after she survived being shot and stabbed by her husband, Jim Martin.

On Nov. 23, 2010, after 19 years of marriage, Salters-Martin told “48 Hours” that her husband entered their Florida bedroom and stabbed her four times in the chest and shot her, and then went to go take a shower. When he returned, she was gone. She said she managed to get outside of her house in Apopka and flag down a stranger who took her the hospital. A bullet was found lodged just inches from her heart and her lung was punctured, she said.

"I would love to see the look on his face when he got out of the shower, came back to the room and I was gone,” Salters-Martin said.

Police found Martin days later, and he still had the knife with him that he allegedly used to stab his wife. He told police that he was the victim and Salters-Martin had tried to attack him and he ran to a neighbor’s shed to get away from her. He told police he was in-and-out of consciousness until she was found. Martin’s defense attorney, Bill Hancock, spoke to the show, saying that he was a “loving and devoted husband” and he didn’t attack Salters-Martin.

"There is not convincing evidence in this case, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr. Martin intended to kill Christy,” Hancock said.

Orange County prosecutors Ryan Vescio and Deborah Barra don’t buy that. They believed Martin turned his wife, a champion boxer, into an abused wife.

"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,” Vescio said.

Salters-Martin met Martin when she was just 22. She knew she was a lesbian, but wanted to gain the approval of her family, who she said had shunned her when they found out, so she married Martin. 

He would always say, 'I'm gonna tell the world you're a lesbian," she said.

Days before she was shot and stabbed, Salters-Martin said she told Martin she was leaving. In 2012, Martin was found guilty of attempting to kill Salters-Martin.

"I think it's a remarkable story because you have a world-famous champion boxer and she could still be in a domestic violence relationship,” prosecutor Deborah Barra said. "Because that isn't about physical strength. It's about mental abuse."  

Salters-Martin said although she had 49 wins in her boxing career, she saw her 50th win by surviving.

"Finally, I have been able to come to terms with, I got the 50th win, when I got up off the floor Nov. 23, 2010, and got out of my house. That was my 50th win,” she said.

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