Christy Martin rings in women's boxing

Christy Martin carried the torch for women's boxing until she was knocked out by Laila Ali. Jamie Squire /Allsport

On March 16, 1996, Christy Martin and Deirdre Gogarty took to the ring in a Las Vegas boxing match that was considered by many to be the birth of modern professional women’s boxing. The two staged a bloody six-round slugfest and clearly impressed the ringside fans and a worldwide pay-per-view audience, upstaging Mike Tyson’s easy win over Frank Bruno. In 2012 in London, women’s boxing made its debut, and American teenager Claressa Shields won the first middleweight gold medal in women's Olympic boxing history.