Christy Martin on her career and the big show she’s promoting August 15
By Bill Tibbs
When people think of beautiful Daytona Beach, Florida, (when the world isn’t held up with a pandemic), people ponder fun, sun and surf. However, on August 15th it’s going to be some hard hitting, live boxing action in ’The Sunshine State.’
As a fighter, Christy Martin was one of the most respected and successful female fighters of her time as she stormed through the lightweight, welterweight and middleweight divisions through much of the 90’s and early 2000’s. She left the ring as a fighter who had faced other female stars like Laila Ali and Mia St. John, accumulated an outstanding ledger of 49-7-3 (31 KO’s) and wrapped a WBC world welterweight title belt around her waist in 2009.
West Virginia native Martin, now living in Austin, Texas, is on the safe side of the ropes now, but she certainly hasn’t left boxing as she moved into promotional work after retiring in 2012. Martin has done a lot of shows in the North Carolina area but over the last couple of years has concentrated on Florida.
Martin’s card, being held at the Ocean Centre, will see her profiling some exciting young fighters. Also, two bouts on the card will see some hardware at stake with Argentina’s Alberto Palmetto (13-1, 9 KO’s) facing New York’s Tre’Sean Wiggins (11-4-3, 6 KO’s) for the WBA International welterweight title and Argentina’s Francisco Torres (14-3, 5 KO’s) going up against California’s Cleotis Pendarvis (21-5-2, 9 KO’s) for the WBA Fedelatin super welterweight title.
Maxboxing caught up with Martin, hard at work in Florida, with fight week approaching and the card a week out.
Bill Tibbs: Hi Christy, thanks for taking a minute, I know you’re busy.
Christy Martin: Hi Bill, happy to do it.
BT: You are promoting in a difficult time with the pandemic going on, how are things going?
CM: You know, promoting boxing can be difficult on a good day so this is just a new thing to deal with, I guess? We have been preparing to take all the necessary precautions, we will be social distancing, we will have masks for everyone who is there, taking temperatures. It should work out fine. You also have to remember that we will be using a huge facility (seats about 10,000) so we will have lots of room to safely social distance.
BT: You were a fighter who gained a tremendous amount of respect in your own career, in a traditionally male-dominated industry, at a time when you really were opening doors for women’s boxing. In your time you really had to show something, you had to bring it every time out, to get that respect. As a result, is there any one key factor that you look for in the fighter’s you look to promote?
CM: Well thanks for saying that about my career, but yes Bill there is things that I look for. I really look for a fighter who ‘gets it’, you know what I mean? Take Richie Rivera, he’s undefeated and in reality, hasn’t fought too tough of opposition yet. But, he will, he’s still developing as a fighter. But, he’s fan-friendly, he fights hard, people love to watch him and he goes out into the crowd after, shakes hands, people love him and love to see him fight - they don’t really care who he fights, they just like him and like watching him fight. I’ve got another kid back home, Anthony Savilla, he’s only had one fight, but he really gets it. He fights in a pleasing style, loves to perform and people will get behind a guy like that. Anytime you can get a fighter who knows how to sell himself, appreciates his audience and shows it, and fights hard every time out, people will get behind that.
BT: Did you start promoting right after you retired?
CM: No, I actually didn’t. I had a stroke in 2011 that really set me back and I had to recover from that. I actually didn’t do my first show until 2015. But, I have been busy with a lot of things since then. This series of shows with Gardiner Payne and the Payne Boxing Series is great. They have been just wonderful to work with and they are really putting on some outstanding fights and are committed to providing a great night of fights for boxing fans; this is going to be a fantastic series of shows with them. I think fight fans are in for a real treat with the Payne Boxing series.
BT: What can fight fans look forward to on this show?
CM: Well, I think that fans have been sitting back wondering if the show will actually happen because of the changes that can happen right now on an almost daily basis. But we are going to go, and it is going to be a great night of fights. We have 13 fights, and they’re fights - there is no soft ones here. The title fights, Alberto Palmetta going against Tre’Sean Wiggins for the WBA international welterweight title is going to be a great fight. Wiggins is no easy fight and Palmetta is coming in off of a huge win of an undefeated fighter. A win does big things for both fighters. And, Francisco Torres is up against Cleotis Pendarvis out of California who is a very experienced guy; a tough fought. Two great title fights. Plus, I can tell you the first TV fight of the night with undefeated Kevin King going against fellow Carolina fighter Charleston Pou is gonna be a war. There are a lot of great fights on the card. I want these guys in tough fights. It’s gonna be a really solid night of boxing for the fans. All these guys are bringing their ‘A’ game.
BT: Have a great show on the 15th, sounds like a stacked card. I look forward to talking with you down the line Christy.
CM: For sure Bill, Thank you.