A world-famous boxer who once graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, Christy Martin, faced strong competition before, but prosecutors say it was her former husband and trainer, James "Jim" Martin, who she squared off against in the fiercest battle of her life.
Stabbed and shot on November 23, 2010, she barely survived. But on Friday, a jury returned a decision in her favour, convicting her now-ex-husband on three counts, including attempted second-degree murder with a firearm.
"This is Christy's biggest win of her life," said prosecutor Ryan Vescio.
The boxer, who now uses her maiden name, Salters, outside the ring, said: "I don't think it's hit me yet. To be honest with you, I'm almost speechless."
The four women and two men of the jury returned a verdict after more than four hours deliberating and three days spent hearing witnesses, including Christy Martin and Sherry Jo Lusk.
Prosecutors said that before the attack, the boxer was planning to leave her husband for Lusk, a former high-school flame, after the women rekindled their relationship online.
"The decision that Christy made was to live for herself," Vescio told jurors in his closing argument. "Ladies and gentlemen, Christy Martin just wanted her life back."
Several witnesses testified that James Martin, described by his ex-wife as a controlling "puppet master", was distraught. He had controlled and manipulated his wife for two decades, Vescio said, and he did not want to lose control.
He resorted to threats, Vescio said, then blackmail, stalking and, ultimately, a brutal attack in the couple's Apopka, Florida-area home.
Jurors saw photos of blood on the floor of their bedroom, Christy Martin's blood-soaked clothes and pictures of her wounds. One witness, a passing motorist who saw the boxer staggering in the street and drove her to the hospital, said her calf was torn from the bone
He described the raw muscle as "like a pot roast" and that it "didn't look real".
The most dramatic testimony came from the boxer herself, who described the attack. She said she was convinced her husband was planning to kill her, but returned home anyway.
Whatever he dishes out, I have to either take it or die
She said she made a decision: "Whatever he dishes out, I have to either take it or die." She glared at her ex while testifying.
Upon his conviction, she was visibly relieved.
Afterward, she said she'd expected waiting for the verdict would feel like awaiting a decision after a fight.
"Not even close," she said.
The boxer said she hopes to get back into the ring on June 19, a week before her ex-husband's sentencing.