Yet nobody can be sure that she's as good at putting people in seats as she is at putting fighters on theirs. Carrier, who first promoted her, says his fans always hated his attempts to present women's bouts, and he eventually gave up on the idea. Certainly King does not mistake her for a main-event draw; whereas Tyson got $30 million for the Bruno fight, Martin got just $15,000. That was 50% more than she had ever gotten but still left her career earnings for six years in the ring at less than $100,000.
It may be that women's boxing, for all its growing popularity among the athletes, won't grow beyond the sideshow status it has sporadically enjoyed (though it must be noted that for the first time in its 69-year history, the New York Golden Gloves included a women's bracket last year). As more and more people resist the idea of boxing in general, women's boxing certainly becomes an increasingly pointless frontier.
Don't try to discuss this with Christy, though. And don't bother Jim about it, either. They're unwilling case studies in this little sociological experiment, just folks trying to get along in a sport that somehow picked them. As they remind you, this isn't about anything but Christy Martin, somebody who wants to be the best at something. And if people don't want to pay to see that, well, they can always watch somebody's main event instead.