Tom Sorensen

Charlotte boxer’s traumatic story heads to film with an unexpected casting twist

Amy Schumer is reportedly going to play boxer Christy Martin, who lives in Charlotte, in a film now in development. “My first thought was, ‘But she’s a comedian, and there’s nothing funny about my life,’ ” said Martin.
Amy Schumer is reportedly going to play boxer Christy Martin, who lives in Charlotte, in a film now in development. “My first thought was, ‘But she’s a comedian, and there’s nothing funny about my life,’ ” said Martin. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

I’ve written several times about Christy Salters Martin, the former lightweight women’s boxing champion that lives in Charlotte. She’s led an interesting life. The first woman boxer ever signed by Don King, she and her then husband lived outside Orlando when she told him she was leaving him for a woman in Charlotte.

He stabbed her several times and shot her. She ran outside holding the gun with which he shot her, her pink Glock, and was covered in blood. She told the first car that approached that she was not carjacking him, but could she please have a ride to the hospital. Once there, she was carried by helicopter to a trauma center, and walked out a week later.

Jim Martin was sentenced to 25 years for attempted second degree murder with a firearm.

Christy Martin’s story sounds like a movie, and now it apparently is. She signed the rights to her story in 2011 to writer Katherine Fugate, and the project now is in development. Fugate has written the screenplays “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve.”

Starring as Martin will be – Amy Schumer.

“I got the call five minutes after I’d seen the press release,” Martin says as she leans against the ring in Charlotte’s Ultimate Gym. “My first thought was, ‘But she’s a comedian, and there’s nothing funny about my life.’ ”

Martin and Schumer almost met when they were in New York City at the same time, but Schumer was hosting Saturday Night Life. Martin flew to Los Angeles as Schumer was flying to London to publicize her most recent movie, “I Feel Pretty.”

Martin says she wants to get Schumer in the ring and show her how to throw a left hook Christy Martin style. Martin set up knockouts with the left hook. A straight right usually followed.

Many of you undoubtedly have seen Martin, 49, since she moved to Charlotte, but didn’t recognize her. She was a ferocious fighter. Her color is pink, but her fights often were red. Somebody was going to be bloody, often she and her opponent. She’s quiet, courteous, and no longer covered in blood.

She worked in Charlotte as a substitute teacher at Vance High School, and has now committed to promoting fights. Her next card is June 30 at CenterStage@NODA.

ChristyMartin-2011File
Charlotte boxer Christy Salters Martin’s story sounds like a movie, and now it apparently is. Julie Jacobson 2011 AP File Photo

Featured will be Charlotte welterweight Jamaal Gregory, 3-1. Gregory’s loss was to Marcel Rivers, an undefeated Philadelphia fighter, in Philadelphia.

Most boxers ease into their career. But Gregory says that at some point a tough fight was going to come, so why not take it early, and learn from it?

“This is my calling,” Gregory says as he sits in the ring at the Ultimate Gym. “This is my story. It’s not anybody else’s story. I’m writing it.”

Gregory’s opponent June 30 will be Anthony Sonnier of Seattle, who is 4-0. This chapter will be an interesting addition to Gregory’s story.

Also interesting will be to see Martin’s story on a big screen.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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