Christy Salters Martin was nearly killed by her ex-husband, James Martin. The female boxing great showed her mental strength as she addressed him during his trial and subsequent sentencing.
James, who is also Christy's former coach, was sent to prison. Now, nearly one year later Salters Martin has a new story to tell. This story is about the fight for Salters Martin's life.
"I'm excited to be back in Central Florida," she said.
It's a rare trip for Salters Martin.
It's been a little less than a year since James Martin, her ex-husband, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for trying to kill her.
"I believe he'll die there, in prison," said Salters Martin. "And that was his choice."
Salters Martin's choice is to turn her most difficult fight into a lesson for others.
Prosecutors say James Martin stabbed his wife in the chest, sliced her in the leg and shot her in the back during a fight in their home in 2010. James Martin was convicted of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm and two other counts.
James Martin's defense attorney had said his client acted in self-defense during the fight. Prosecutors said Christy Salters Martin had made clear to James Martin that she wanted to end their marriage for another woman, and James Martin had stalked his then-wife.
"I think that I did get up and walk out of that house on Nov 23, 2010, after being shot and stabbed, for a reason," she said. "And that reason is to stand up and help somebody else."
She now lives in North Carolina with her partner and speaks out against domestic violence. In September, she'll return to Central Florida for a special event to raise awareness.
"That's kind of not ever going to overshadow my boxing glove, but it rivals a little bit," she said.
On Thursday, she stopped in her old gym in Apopka. It was once called "Christy's Champs." Now, it's called "One Punch" in Apopka. Salters Martin cheer on the next generation of fighters before their next fight this Saturday.
"It's exciting to me because there are so many of these guys that I did see fighting in the amateurs when they were maybe 7, 8, 12 years old," she said.
The young boxers were just as excited and appreciative to have Salters Martin in their corners.
"My first amateur fight came out of her gym so seeing Christy again in my second pro fight, I didn't expect it," said Prichard Colon, boxer. "It's very exciting, and I'm ready to give her a great performance."
"I'm super pumped, excited," said boxer Robbie Burwell. "I grew up on the eastside so they're all coming up."
"It feels good knowing that a champ is going to be there," said Moises Carrasquillo, Jr. "That's my dream, too. Maybe I'll be as successful as she is."
Amos Cowart is fighting the title match on Saturday night against Hector Marengo.
"I'm happy," said Cowart. "I guess, a little nerve wracking, but I'm going to do my job."
As for whether fans will ever see martin in the ring again?
"I think we've seen me in the ring probably, probably for the last time," said Salters Martin. "But I'm always hoping to be ringside. There's not going to be anyone any happier or prouder or cheering any louder than me on Saturday night."
The fight will be held at the Bahia Shrine Temple in Maitland on 2300 Pembroke Drive in Orlando. Tickets are still available. For more information, contact (352)404-2046.