|Christy Martin: “You are going to see a bigger and stronger Christy Martin!”
INTERVIEW by Benny Henderson Jr (May 30, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
This Saturday night at the L’Auberge du lac Hotel and Casino in Lake Charles, LA, will mark the return of the first lady of boxing Christy Martin, 46-5-2 (31), who will be taking on the hard hitting undefeated Amy Yuratovac, 5-0 (5), in a scheduled six round bout. But this is not the Christy Martin the fans have been used to seeing the ‘Coalminer’s Daughter’ strongly states that she is a much bigger and stronger fighter than before, and she plans on administering some damage.
Since making her debut in the bang for your buck sport in 1989, the name Christy Martin has become the epitome of women’s boxing. She has broken down barriers and climbed walls to shed a spotlight on the sport. From signing with Don King to battling it out in some bloody wars to being the only woman boxer to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, the West Virginian has done it all. And now with over seventeen years, fifty-three fights
and endless rounds under her belt the thirty-eight year old lady combatant’s career is winding down, but she is not going out quietly, in fact he is prepared to go out with bang.
Names such as Lucia Rijker, Ann Wolfe, Jane Couch and Mary Jo Sanders surface up when she is asked about the ones she would like to step in against. And she is primed and ready to fight any of the following four. But first she has Yuratovac to deal with, and then it is off to bigger business.
In this exclusive interview conducted by Doghouse Boxing, Martin speaks out on this Saturday’s bout, and the possibility of fighting Jane Couch in September, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: You are facing the undefeated Amy Yuratovac this Saturday night in a six round bout, what can you tell us about your opponent?
Christy Martin: You know I really cannot tell you a lot about her, she is ranked number ten by the WBC, she’s young, I have never seen her fight but they tell me she is tough, rugged and comes straight forward, real strong. That is really all I know about her. I know she has a really good coach in Dennis out of Chicago, my husband and trainer Jim has known Dennis for years, I have respect in Dennis because I know he is going to bring her prepared.
BH: You know I am not trying to be negative in any kind of way or put a damper on this interview, but out of your last four fights you have only been able to tally up one win, and that was two years ago. So coming into this bout with back to back losses do you feel the need even more to stand and deliver, I guess more or less your back is against the wall, so do you feel you need this win more than anything, and how much pressure does this put on you coming into this match-up?
CM: Well I think from the very first time that I stepped in the ring, especially after signing with Don King, there has been pressure on me with every fight that I have fought, even pre-Don. More so after I signed with Don, everybody’s reputation was at stake, Don King for taking a gamble on me, Jim for training me, myself by going in there and not wanting to embarrass myself. So I think that I have always had a lot of pressure on me. Looking back on my last few fights I am an angry fighter, I will show anybody the DVD of the last fight that I fought Martinez, if I did not win eight rounds out of that fight then I have never won a single round out of my career. If you win eight rounds in a ten round fight normally you win the fight, so I might have a loss, that is the bad thing you pull up my record you see a loss there, but if you saw the fight, like I said I’d be happy to show that fight to anybody, I did not lose that fight. When I went to Albuquerque to fight Holy Holm, I am not going to make any excuses, but she did not fight me aggressive like she fought Chevelle Hallback last week, she certainly did not take the fight to me, she ran from me. And that was a month Lucia Rijker just pulled out of a million dollar fight with me. Maybe there was some letdown; I cannot explain what happened that night. Before that we fought Ali, and I do not think anybody gave me much of a shot to be Laila anyway so that is where I stand, I have not busy a busy fighter since 2001, but I am now certainly an angry fighter.
BH: Looking at your opponent’s record, she has never faced such high level opposition that you are offering up in this bout, but she has also stopped all of her opponents via knockout, three in the first round, she is young and hungry and seems to be very strong. Does her power concern you?
CM: I am not concerned about her power, but I am happy that she has knocked everybody out, that shows me that she is going to be a test, she is going to come out there and be confident with herself and we have to give her respect. We do not know how good or bad she really is, he has not fought the competition that I have fought, but she has destroyed all she has faced this far so she is doing her job. We will see Saturday.
BH: Do you feel that your experience will be the major factor in the outcome of this bout?
CM: I think when it comes right down to it, it is going to be my experience and my power.
BH: The reports are that if all goes well for you in these next few months you are possibly going to be facing Jane Couch in September for the WBC super lightweight title, any truth to that?
CM: We signed the contract to fight Jane September 22nd. Jane is one of those girls, much like Lucia Rijker who has talked junk about me and called me out for so many years, so it is kind of a blessing to be approached about this fight. They asked me if I would fight a girl from across the pond and I said that it is a perfect time to fight Jane Couch. We have both already signed so unless the promoter drops the ball that fight will happen.
BH: You know in our first interview together about three years ago, I asked if you and your husband Jim were thinking about starting a family, and you said after you get to fifty wins you two would talk about it. Also in that interview you said you wanted to be the first woman to get to fifty wins, emphasis on fifty wins. You are at forty-six, all goes well Saturday night you have forty-seven, just three more to go if I am adding it up correctly. You have nothing left to prove, you’ve said we know it, but with fifty wins being your goal, when you actually get there, which could be in the next year, are your planning to call it a day at fifty?
CM: You know, I would like to say yes but I do not want to be like one of those people that retire one day and come back the next. Fifty wins is definitely the goal and at that time we will set down and consider what our next move would be. Right now I just feel so good, I feel so great, probably better than I have felt for any fight other than Rijker because I was so ready for that fight. I feel so strong and so quick, I feel like I want to fight that Mary Jo Sanders girl. I would really love to fight her, and Ann Wolfe talks about how everybody is scared of her, well Christy Martin is not scared of her, whatever, if her promoter wants to step up and make that fight at 158-pounds or something I would be happy to fight her. I am definitely a different fighter than who I was when I fought Ali. My strength is much different, and we are going to see that Saturday. I would love to have the opportunity to challenge Mary Jo Sanders or Ann Wolfe.
BH: Again you have done it all in the boxing world, so what else is left for you to do, I guess, if you plan on calling it a day in the near future, who would you like to fight to sort of go out with bang?
CM: Well I guess most of all, in a perfect world I would see me fighting to get my fiftieth win against Lucia Rijker at home in West Virginia. But that is probably unrealistic because it would be hard to take a fight that big to West Virginia and because I am not so sure Lucia ever had any intentions of really fighting me two years ago, so why would I think she would fight me now. I would have fought her the first time but she got cold feet.
BH: Would you like to add to this interview or say anything in closing?
CM: People do not give up on Christy Martin, it is going to be a bigger and stronger Christy than people are used to seeing, the punches are going to have great affect. All the people around Houston and Lake Charles come to the fight wearing pink in support of Team Martin and afterwards we are going to be willing to go out and celebrate with everybody.
I would like to thank Christy Martin for her time and thoughts.
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