Mia St. John vs Christy Martin: Playboy Cover Girl and Coal Miner's Daughter Rumble August 14Written by Lee Cleveland
Two of the most accomplished female boxers ever, Mia St. John and Christy Martin, will match skills and will in a battle of legends.
The bout, a rematch of their fight in 2002, will be the main event of the five-bout "Final Victory" in California and the Women's WBC Super Welterweight title will be on the line.
Christy Martin won their first bout via a close decision.
Ironically, the bout between these two female fight legends who paved the way for those proceeding them will coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games, which will showcase women's boxing for the very first time.
Both women have very intriguing and very different backdrops heading into their much-anticipated rematch.
Martin, 44, is considered by many in the industry as the most accomplished female boxer ever and the person who "legitimized" female boxing.
She began her career fighting in "Toughwoman" contests and won three consecutive titles before she started training with boxing coach, Jim Martin, who she married in 1991.
By 1996, the fighter nicknamed "The Coal Miner's Daughter," had ascended to the top of women's boxing, amassing a 28-1 record. She signed with famed promoter Don King and, on March 16th of that year, fought Deirdre Gogarty on the undercard of Mike Tyson vs Frank Bruno II - a major Showtime pay-per-view event. Martin would earn a hard-fought decision in an exhilarating affair that was arguably responsible for putting women's boxing on the map.
Following Gogarty bout, Martin gained quasi-celebrity staus and was even showcased on the cover of the April 15, 1996 edition of Sports Illustrated.
Martin, who holds a record of 49 wins, 5 losses and 3 draws with 31 wins by knockout, has fought on the undercard of boxers Evander Holyfield, Félix Trinidad and Julio César Chávez, in addition to Tyson.
On November 23, 2010, Christy Martin was stabbed several times and shot at least once in her torso and left leg allegedly by her then-husband, James, following an argument at their home. He was charged with attempted first degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
The St. John rematch will serve as a fitting celebration of a career and life thought to be over as a result of the injuries she sustained from the gunshot wounds and stabbing.
Now Christy wants to finish the most memorable career in women's boxing history by defeating St. John.
"I am excited about this opportunity to get my 50th win against Mia St John to finish my career," said Martin. "I am honored to fight for the WBC World Title at Table Mountain Casino and look forward to becoming a World Champion once again. This time I will KO Mia, that's as good a guarantee as you get."
Mia St. John
Pro boxer, model, beauty queen, businesswoman, college graduate and Tae Kwon Do Champion, Mia St. John, 44, isn't your typical woman.
In 1997 at the age of 29, St. John vaulted into professional prizefighting and immediately gained the attention of boxing insiders.
Initially promoted by Don King and later Top Rank, the sexy slugger was often featured on the undercard of Oscar De La Hoya bouts. Most of her fights were televised and she gained mainstream recognition as a 'boxing beauty queen' of sorts.
In November 1999, St. John, while still undefeated, appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine in an 11 page pictorial. She seemingly wanted to promote the notion a woman could be feminine and beautiful yet athletic and strong at the same time.
St. John had amassed a record of 22-0-1 before losing her first bout to Rolanda Andrews, via knockout, in 2001.
Now 46-11-2 with 18 knockouts, St. John will enter the ring for the first time in two years when she faces longtime rival Christy Martin.
For Mia, this matchup is all about respect and redemption. In 2002, despite her stellar 26-1-1 record, it took an exciting 10 round war with Martin to earn the acclaim from the boxing world that she deserved. And since then, the fighter dubbed "The Knockout" has continued to be one of the sport's great ambassadors, in and out of the ring.
"I've waited nearly 10 years for this rematch," stated St John. "I know I out-boxed Christy in the last fight, but this time I am going to BEAT her. Now we'll see who the real WBC Champion is, La Gallina or La Guerrera."
"We've rivaled each other from the very beginning," St. John said. "She was with Don King. I was with Bob Arum. She came out on the cover of Sports Illustrated and I came out on the cover of Playboy. Which one would you rather see?"
Martin vs St. John: Final Victory will take place on August 14th at Table Mountain in California.
Deirdre Gogarty v Christy Martin highlights - 1996
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.