POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – She’s only 20-years old but Chasity Martin is one of the top five amateur female lightweights in the country, with a decorated trainer in her corner.READ MORE: As US Confirms First Omicron Case, CDC Works To Step Up Testing Requirements
“When I run I run. And when I get in here I stand in my corner. I jump up like three times and I’m good. I feel safe, explained Martin to CBS4’s Michael Cugno.
For Chasity Martin safety came at a premium growing up. Her father disowned her and she was punching her way through the neighborhood fighting just about anyone.
“You’ll fight some one’s family member and then just know they have 15 other cousins and friends.”
But one brawl landed this brash fighter in the back of a police car. So she thought if she had time to get in trouble she had time to be productive. Chasity picked up boxing to channel her energy. However, waiting for her in the gym was more temptation. One day a man offered her the opportunity to fight at the strip club King of Diamonds, and she took it. Chasity was just 14-years-old.
“It was just craziness. It was women up there on the roof, it was women down here walking around with no clothes on, it’s loud music, it’s late at night, and I’m like ‘Where am I what am I doing?'”
Luckily this turned out to be a one-time deal. One of the trainers at her gym caught wind of this and stepped in.
“This biggest problem I had with that was not so much that you’re fighting but it’s where you’re fighting because of the environment,” said Stacy McKinley. “I mean here’s a situation where a young girl like you can end up doing drugs, alcohol, or prostitution.”
Stacy McKinley is known through boxing circles as one of Mike Tyson’s former trainers. For the first time, he was about to coach a girl.
“You can’t get in the fantasy world that the rules are going to change in the ring for you because you’re a female. The rules are the same. We’re in what we call in professional boxing we call ‘the hurt business’.”READ MORE: Arrest Made In Miami-Dade In Connection With Murder Of Palm Beach Gardens Boy
Under McKinley’s tutelage, the hurt business has been good for Chasity. At 20-years-old she’s already 4-0 as a professional boxer. But more importantly, Chasity has gained a father figure in her life since that first meeting 6 years ago. The two are inseparable. Stacy has not only shown her the ins and outs of boxing, he’s taken up financial responsibilities, paying for her education and insurance and helping to keep her life on track,
“As long as you’re training, trying to move up in life, and trying to make something out of yourself I’m going to go as far with you as I can. I call it the yellow brick road. If you want to see the wizard, I said you got to get on the yellow brick road. If you stay on the yellow brick road I’ll get you there,” said McKinley.
“It’s a long road and it goes like this. It goes down, it goes up, it goes everywhere. But you know what? On the yellow brick road what you can’t do is if you fall off you can’t stay off,” explained Chasity.
On that road is an education and a career outside of the ring.
“I will be in the police academy, the Broward Sheriff Office Police Academy, so right now I’m studying. Studying is going well and I’ll be a law enforcement officer in the month of November of 2017,” Chasity said proudly.
Stacy knows he won’t be around forever but he wanted to make sure above all else that he teaches Chasity independence and responsibility.
“Your success is going to be determined on what you do and the people. How do the people perceive you and how you carry yourself? Your success is right here in Pompano Beach and Broward County. You’re going to reach out further than that but you have to start at home,” said McKinley.
Now in the ring, Chasity has appropriately been nicknamed ‘The Queen of Pompano’ and she hopes to be fighting for a world title in the next 12 months.
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