If you were riveted by the Netflix documentary Untold: Deal with the Devil, find out Christy Martin’s whole story in this fascinating autobiography.
Boxing legend Christy Martin was a trailblazer in the ring and continues to be an inspiration to female fighters across the globe. She is without a doubt the most important woman in the history of female combat sports. But behind the scenes Martin was in a losing battle, unable to express her true sexual identity and struggling to survive sexual and domestic abuse at the hands of her husband.
In Fighting for Survival: My Journey through Boxing Fame, Abuse, Murder, and Resurrection, Christy Martin recounts her harrowing yet inspiring story. Growing up in a small town in West Virginia, Martin felt forced to keep her sexual orientation hidden to please her family and the sports world, eventually agreeing to a sham marriage with coach Jim Martin. While she rose to prominence in the world of boxing, Martin was secretly contending with substance abuse, domestic violence, and an attempted murder by her husband, who left her to die on their bedroom floor.
Fighting for Survival reveals how Martin battled back to life from her near-death experience, how she overcame abuse, violence, addiction, and 40 years of living in the closet, and how she turned her pain into victory and debasement into triumph. Her story is one of hope and self-belief, an inspiration for anyone struggling to break the chain of abuse or who fears to be open about their sexual orientation. It is more than the story of a boxing champion; it is the story of a survivor.
Christy Martin is the most successful female fighter in boxing history and widely regarded as the woman who legitimized women’s participation in boxing and other combat sports. Discovered by legendary promoter Don King, Martin went undefeated for nearly a decade, won the WBC world junior welterweight championship, and became the first female fighter to box on national television, premium cable (SHOWTIME), and pay-per-view. In 2020 she became the first woman enshrined by the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held in 2022. Martin is currently CEO of Christy Martin Promotions, a boxing promotional company. She runs a charitable foundation, Christy’s Champs, that helps domestic violence survivors and their children, and is a frequent speaker around the country on domestic violence issues. Today she is happily married to a former opponent, Lisa Holewyne. Originally from Mullens, WV, Martin now splits her time between central Florida and Austin, TX.
Ron Borges has covered the NFL since 1974. He is a member of the 48-person Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and the nine-person senior selection committee. He has been a finalist for inclusion in the writer’s wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame seven times. Borges has regularly covered boxing, the NFL, golf, major league baseball, the NHL, and five Olympic Games for the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Oakland Tribune, and other publications. For two years he was hired as a consultant to work on ESPN’s “Sports Century’’ project, which was the forerunner of its 30 for 30 documentary series. Borges has been named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year five times. His work has been included in Best American Sports Stories anthology 11 times and he has been named one of America’s top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors numerous times in its annual competition, including three of the past four years. Borges resides in Littleton, MA.