Tony Martin, left, of Philadelphia, punches Mexico's Julio Cesar Chavez in the second round of their Welterweight Special Attraction fight, in Las Vegas in March, 1997.
PHILADELPHIA — Retired boxer Tony Martin was fatally shot in an altercation with a visitor at one of his rental properties and police are searching for a suspect, authorities said today.
The 52-year-old Martin, a former welterweight, was shot during an argument at the home in the city's Hunting Park section on Friday, police said. Martin's niece, Robyn Peete, said her uncle had gone to the home to collect rent and found a person who wasn't supposed to be there.
Peete said she didn't know exactly what happened, but that her uncle was a strict landlord who owned several properties in the city. He may not have approved of an unauthorized person being at the property, she said, adding that he was also known to be very compassionate with his tenants.
“He was a very good landlord as far as giving breaks to his tenants,” she said. “It's just a matter of time before the person is identified and apprehended.”
A native of St. Louis, Martin was 34-6-1 in his boxing career, with 12 knockouts. He lost his last fight, a decision to Julio Cesar Chavez in Las Vegas, in 1997.
A longtime postal service clerk after serving in the military, Martin transferred from his native St. Louis to Philadelphia to train in 1985, Peete said. He trained at Champs Gym in north Philadelphia, where the telephone rang unanswered today.
“The boxing was his love and that's what brought him here,” Peete said.
He is survived by his wife, Donna, and four grown children. Funeral services were incomplete today.
“He was so devoted to his wife and family,” Peete said. “He was the most happy-go-lucky person that you would ever meet.”