Christy Martin fought to a record of 49-7-3 (32KOs) during a career that spanned 23 years. She won world championship belts and was one of the biggest names in women’s boxing, along with Laila Ali at that time. Now, the most notable name in women’s boxing is Claressa Shields. She’s is a two time Olympic gold medalist and has captured multiple world titles and it seems her only challenge in the ring is finding an opponent to launch her stardom.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Christy Martin, I talk to her about the transition to promoting fights and ask her about some of the upcoming events she has. Martin also talks about Claressa Shields rise in the sport and potential fights she could have with either Laila Ali or Jake Paul. Additionally, Christy gives her thoughts on what Manny Pacquiao has left to offer the sport and talks about potential fights between Errol Spence and Terence Crawford. Here is what Christy Martin had to say.
Jenna J: You recently transitioned into promoting fights. How did you move into that aspect of boxing?
Christy Martin: I had a stroke in 2011 and was wondering what I was going to do. The stroke, I woke up and I couldn’t walk and I couldn’t talk, couldn’t see clearly. As I rehabilitated a little bit, I thought the only thing I could really do was promote. I just gradually got into promoting little by little.
Even though I gradually got into promoting, my whole thing is, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to be the best. It may take me a little longer to get to Mayweather or Goldenboy because I didn’t get to start with a pocket full of money, but at some point I hope to be promoting my own champions for WBC world title fights on Showtime and making a splash.
Jenna J: You have an event coming up on January 30th. Can you tell the fans a little about that card?
Christy Martin: Yes, on January 30th in Myrtle Beach at the Crown Reef Beach Resort. We have a young kid who I’m going to sign, his name is Victorino Gonzalez, he’s from Myrtle beach. We have Shinard Bunch who is going to be making his fourth appearance on one of my shows, he’s a nice, strong up-and-coming fighter, 10-1.
Another local kid, Kyle Harrell is going to be on. I just got a call from ‘Tank’ Davis and his team has a couple of people they want to put on. It’s going to be a loaded card from top to bottom. Then we’re going to turn around on February 12th and go to Orlando. Even though I’m doing club shows and smaller shows, I still try to bring quality matchups.
Jenna J: I would like to get your view on one of the biggest stars of women’s boxing today, that being Claressa Shields. I’m curious what your thoughts are on her?
Christy Martin: That’s a tough one. As a fighter, I was sometimes very arrogant and very much a jerk sometimes, but I kind of did it with a smile and a laugh. I feel that with my connection with people, the fans felt like they could come talk to me. I think Claressa is a little bit arrogant — a lot arrogant — and maybe doesn’t appreciate all the opportunities she’s getting, she expects them, and that’s a big difference.
I appreciated the fact that Showtime put me on regular Showtime and on Pay-Per-View, and Don King promoted me and Mike Tyson supported me. I appreciated all of those things, I didn’t expect anything. As a fighter, I think she’s very beatable. She’s not fighting anybody and she’s at a time where there’s maybe not a lot out there who could beat her. Had she been fighting back in the 90’s with myself, Lucia Rijker, Lisa Holewyne, I think she would have had a different run.
Jenna J: What do you think of Shields calling out Laila Ali who is in her early forties right now?
Christy Martin: I think she needs somebody to make her relevant. In order to be relevant, she’s calling out a name that everybody already knows. With that being said, I think if Laila actually took the fight, it would be a very big mistake for Claressa because Laila would come back full force, full focus and bust her ass.
Jenna J: Clarrisa also recently called out Jake Paul to a fight, who fought on the undercard of the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones card. Do you think she’s talking about fighting a man to garner more media attention?
Christy Martin: This is what hurts women’s boxing, talking about fighting a man. Yes, it’s her attempt to get media and get attention. It just tells us, she really can’t carry her own career, much less women’s boxing. She has to always be calling out a man. When did Laila Ali last fight? Fifteen years ago? Beat the people who are right before you who are trying to fight you now.
Jenna J: When it comes to boxing today, the biggest name in boxing is still Manny Pacquiao. What are your thoughts on his future with him recently turning forty-two?
Christy Martin: It’s going to be interesting to see because at forty-two, we have to start seeing a decline. But you’re right, he’s still the most salable name out there, so let’s put him in with some of these young guns and if he can continue to beat the young guns, we just keep seeing him.
But sooner or later, father time catches up with everybody, and I’m pretty sure father time will catch Manny Pacquiao at some point. He has aligned himself with great promotions and is able to keep selling tickets, and as long as you can sell tickets, promoters are going to put you in the ring.
Jenna J: Two names out there for Pacquiao are Errol Spence and Terence Crawford. If those two don’t end up fighting each other, how do you think Pacquiao does with either of them?
Christy Martin: I just think it’s terrible we are not going to see them fight each other. Hopefully Haymon and Arum can come to some agreement and make that fight happen because it’s cheating the boxing fans if we don’t.
I think it’s a great fight, it’s too bad for Crawford that he is over there with Arum because there are so many great fights if he were with PBC to get into that mix and have a round robin of all those top welterweights that could be fighting right now. So hopefully we see those fights and then Pacquiao becomes less relevant, because now we are seeing new blood.
I think they are tough fights for Pacquiao and how do you beat Crawford? That guy just keeps coming and he’s kind of beaten the odds in life. The truth is Bud Crawford has nothing to lose once he gets into the ring, he’s made it thought life so boxing is probably easy for him. I think both beat Pacquiao.
Jenna J: In closing, is there any message you would like to pass along to all your fans and supporters out there?
Christy Martin: I would just like to let everyone know that we have January 30th in Myrtle Beach, but we also have February 12th down in Orlando. But the most exciting thing I have on my plate is April 10th. We’re going to be in Vero Beach doing a black tie event. The proceeds will go to domestic violence awareness and Christy’s Champs as well as the local domestic violence center here is Vera beach.