Following Malice at the Palace, the sports docuseries Untold releases its second part with Deal with the Devil. She was described as one of the most influential female boxers of all time, helping legitimize women’s participation in the sport. Christy Martin shocked the world by becoming a superstar after winning a blood-soaked undercard match at the Mike Tyson/Frank Bruno fight in 1996. Growing up in a small town in West Virginia, Martin was a famous standout athlete. As she began to win her first amateur fights, she struggled with being open about her sexual orientation, choosing to keep her relationships with women secret.
She later found a coach in Jim Martin, a professional boxing trainer who, despite his initial skepticism about “women’s boxing,” signed on to help train her. They would later become romantically involved, despite their 20-year-plus age difference. After landing on Don King’s radar, Martin, under the moniker “The Coal Miner’s Daughter,” experienced a meteoric rise, including the cover of Sports Illustrated, breaking pay-per-view records in women’s boxing along the way.
The fall from that height was steep and included substance abuse, domestic violence, and a harrowing brush with death. Martin reveals how she battled back to level ground and personal content life, including an induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Additional interviewees include Mike Tyson, Laila Ali, Martin’s family, and convicted attempted murderer Jim Martin speaks for the first time since his imprisonment.
Outside of Million Dollar Baby, I do not know that much about women’s boxing. However, my wife and I both immensely enjoyed the first edition of Untold, so we were looking forward to the second edition. Laura Brownson is behind the scenes as the director of this edition and does a commendable job. I enjoyed most the documentary because we get a chance to hear from Christy Martin as she details the intensity of women’s boxing.
The archive boxing scenes were great to watch and show that Christy was a natural-born athlete. I also enjoyed the dialogue from the numerous panelists throughout the show, and they all generally speak highly of Christy. Most surprising though was that Jim Martin was allowed to say, as he was a monster with no remorseful bones in his body. Deal with the Devil is a few minutes longer than the previous episode. However, it is another worthy addition to the Untold series.
Final Grade: B
Untold: Deal with the Devil is streaming on Netflix now.