Ward in March 2011
|Real name||George Michael Ward, Jr.|
|Rated at||Junior welterweight|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Reach||178 cm (70 in)|
October 4, 1965 |
Lowell, Massachusetts, US
|Wins by KO||28|
George Michael "Micky" Ward, Jr. (born October 4, 1965), sometimes nicknamed "Irish Micky Ward", is a retired American junior welterweight professional boxer and a former WBU champion from Lowell, Massachusetts. He is widely known for his three fights with Arturo Gatti, as well as from the 2010 feature film based on his career titled The Fighter, in which he is portrayed by Mark Wahlberg. Micky is the younger half-brother of Dicky Eklund and son of Alice Eklund-Ward.
Ward was a three-time New England Golden Gloves champion boxer who turned pro in 1985, winning his first fourteen fights. However, his career leveled off, and after losing four consecutive fights in 1990/91, Ward took a hiatus from boxing.
During Ward's time away from the sport, he used some of the funds from his day job on a road-paving crew to have surgery on his right hand, which had given him problems during several bouts. The surgery used some of the bone from Ward's pelvis to strengthen and fuse the bones in his hand. His half-brother, former boxer Dicky Eklund, who was struggling with drug addiction and had just been released from jail on charges including drug possession, convinced Ward to take up the sport again.
Return to the ring
Ward was successful in his return, winning his first nine fights, and won the WBU's Intercontinental Light Welterweight Title in a fight against Louis Veader. He defended the belt once, in a rematch against Veader. Ward earned a 1997 IBF Light Welterweight Championship fight against champion Vince Phillips, but did not win the championship, as the fight was stopped in the third round due to cuts, and Phillips was awarded the bout via TKO. One year later, Ward again would come up short in a title fight, as he lost a 12-round decision against Zab Judah.
In 2000, Ward traveled to London to take on the WBU Light Welterweight Champion, Shea Neary, and earned a TKO in the eighth round to win the WBU title. Ward, however, never defended the title, and split his next four fights. His ten-round decision victory over Emanuel Augustus (then known as Emanuel Burton) was voted The Ring magazine's 2001 Fight of the Year.
Ward vs. Gatti trilogy
On May 18, 2002, Ward faced the opponent with whom he became most identified, Arturo Gatti. The fight was a wild one, but a ninth round Ward knockdown of Gatti proved to be the difference, with Ward winning a majority decision. The fight was later named the 2002 Ring magazine fight of the year. Both fighters needed care in a trauma center after the match.
The two agreed to an immediate rematch, and in November, Gatti was able to win the second wild fight. Ward was knocked down in the third round, but survived to finish the fight. Gatti paid tribute to Ward's tenacity after the fight, saying, "I used to wonder what would happen if I fought my twin. Now I know."
They then agreed to a third straight fight, and again, the fight was back and forth. Gatti pounded Ward with punch after punch early on, but Ward fought back and managed a sixth round knockdown of Gatti. Before Gatti could get up, or the referee's count could hit ten, the bell sounded to end the round. Gatti was able to come back and win the fight via a unanimous decision. Again, both men needed a trip to the hospital, due to the injuries they suffered. The fight was named the 2003 Ring magazine fight of the year, the third straight for Ward. Ward was the first fighter in over 40 years achieve this.
All told, Ward made approximately $3 million in earnings for his trilogy with Gatti; the most lucrative fights of his career.
Ward still lives in Lowell, where he is part owner of both a boxing gym as well as an outdoor hockey rink. Ward is married to Charlene Fleming, his longtime girlfriend, who is also a former athlete. They live with Ward's daughter, Kasie. He manages the boxing gym he owns and his half-brother and former trainer, Dicky Eklund, trains new boxers entering its academy.
Professional boxing record
|38 Wins (27 knockouts, 11 decisions), 13 Losses (1 eye-stoppage, 12 decisions), 0 Draws|
|Loss||38–13||Arturo Gatti||UD||10 (10)||2003-06-07||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey||2003 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.|
|Loss||38–12||Arturo Gatti||UD||10 (10)||2002-11-23||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||38–11||Arturo Gatti||MD||10 (10)||2002-05-18||Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut||2002 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.|
|Loss||37–11||Jesse James Leija||TD||5 (10)||2002-01-05||Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas||Fight stopped due to a cut on Leija.|
|Win||37–10||Emanuel Augustus||UD||10 (10)||2001-07-13||Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire||2001 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.|
|Win||36–10||Steve Quinonez||KO||1 (10), 3:03||2001-05-18||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut|
|Loss||35–10||Antonio Díaz||UD||10 (10)||2000-08-19||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut|
|Win||35–9||Shea Neary||TKO||8 (12), 2:55||2000-03-11||Olympia, Kensington, London||Won WBU Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||34–9||Reggie Green||TKO||10 (10), 2:40||1999-10-01||Icenter, Salem, New Hampshire|
|Win||33–9||Jermal Corbin||TKO||5 (10)||1999-07-16||Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire|
|Win||32–9||Jose Luis Mendez||TKO||3 (?)||1999-03-17||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Loss||31–9||Zab Judah||UD||12 (12)||1998-06-07||Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida||For interim USBA Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||31–8||Mark Fernandez||KO||3 (8), 1:57||1998-04-14||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut|
|Loss||30–8||Vince Phillips||TKO||3 (12), 2:49||1997-08-09||The Roxy, Boston, Massachusetts||For IBF Light Welterweight title. Cut eye stoppage.|
|Win||30–7||Alfonso Sanchez||KO||7 (10), 1:53||1997-04-12||Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||29–7||Manny Castillo||SD||10 (10)||1996-12-06||Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada|
|Win||28–7||Louis Veader||UD||12 (12)||1996-07-28||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut||Retained WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||27–7||Louis Veader||TKO||9 (12), 1:28||1996-04-13||Fleet Center, Boston, Massachusetts||Won WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||26–7||Alex Ortiz||TKO||1 (6)||1996-03-15||Wonderland Ballroom, Revere, Massachusetts|
|Win||25–7||Alberto Alicea||TKO||3 (8)||1996-01-26||Wonderland Ballroom, Revere, Massachusetts|
|Win||24–7||Edgardo Rosario||TKO||1 (4)||1995-12-30||Wonderland Greyhound Park, Revere, Massachusetts|
|Win||23–7||Genaro Andujar||KO||3 (10)||1994-09-10||Lowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts|
|Win||22–7||Luis Castillo||TKO||5 (10)||1994-06-17||Sheraton Inn, Lowell, Massachusetts|
|Loss||21–7||Ricky Meyers||UD||10 (10)||1991-10-15||Harrah's Trump Plaza Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Loss||21–6||Tony Martin||UD||10 (10)||1991-05-02||Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Loss||21–5||Charles Murray||UD||12 (12)||1990-10-18||Rochester War Memorial, Rochester, NY||For USBA Light Welterweight title.|
|Loss||21–4||Harold Brazier||UD||12 (12)||1990-04-26||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey||For IBF Inter-Continental Welterweight title.|
|Win||21–3||David Rivello||SD||10 (10)||1990-02-03||Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts|
|Win||20–3||Clarence Coleman||TKO||5 (10)||1989-05-23||Showboat Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Loss||19–3||Frankie Warren||UD||12 (12)||1989-01-15||Caesar's Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey||For USBA Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||19–2||Francisco Tomas da Cruz||TKO||3 (10)||1988-12-13||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Loss||18–2||Mike Mungin||UD||10 (10)||1988-09-09||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||18–1||Marvin Garris||TKO||2 (?)||1988-07-09||Sands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||17–1||David Silva||UD||10 (10)||1988-05-19||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||16–1||Joey Olivera||UD||10 (10)||1988-02-19||Bally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||15–1||Joey Ferrell||TKO||1 (10)||1988-01-15||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Loss||14–1||Edwin Curet||SD||10 (10)||1987-09-25||Resorts Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||14–0||Derrick McGuire||TKO||4 (8)||1987-08-25||Ballys Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||13–0||Kelly Koble||TKO||4 (8)||1987-04-06||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||12–0||Hilario Mercedes||SD||8 (8)||1987-02-24||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||11–0||Carlos Brandi||KO||2 (10)||1986-10-24||Lowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts|
|Win||10–0||John Rafuse||UD||8 (8)||1986-08-29||Lowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts|
|Win||9–0||Rafael Terrero||TKO||2 (6)||1986-07-04||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||8–0||Ken Willis||PTS||6 (6)||1986-06-15||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||7–0||Luis Pizzarro||TKO||3 (6)||1986-05-30||Trump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||6–0||Darrell Curtis||TKO||5 (?)||1986-04-18||Trump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||5–0||Jesus Carlos Velez||KO||6 (6)||1986-02-21||Trump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||4–0||Mike Peoples||UD||4 (4)||1986-01-24||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||3–0||Chris Bajor||TKO||3 (4)||1986-01-10||Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||2–0||Greg Young||TKO||4 (4)||1985-08-27||Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts|
|Win||1–0||David Morin||TKO||1 (4)||1985-06-13||Roll-On-America Skating Rink, Lawrence, Massachusetts||Micky's Professional Debut|
In popular culture
The story of Ward's comeback and rise to fame was made into a 2010 feature film, The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg (who was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor) as Ward. Wahlberg confirmed to Spike TV that The Fighter 2 is in the works, which will focus on the legendary fight trilogy between Ward and Arturo Gatti.
A book – Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward – about Ward's life and boxing career was written by Bob Halloran in 2008.
- Sheridan, Emily. "Mark Wahlberg swaps his Calvin Klein six-pack for a paunch to play out-of-shape boxer", Daily Mail, March 16, 2010
- Professional boxing record for Micky Ward from BoxRec
- Lidz, Franz. "Uncommon Valor", Sports Illustrated, June 16, 2003
- Quinones, Rafael Garcia. "Revisiting the Fight of the Year for 2001: Micky Ward vs. Emanuel Burton", BleacherReport.com, January 9, 2010
- Boehm, Mike."Arturo Gatti: Remembering Ultimate Blood and Guts Warrior", ProBoxing-Fans.com, n.d.
- Aranda, Ramon. "Micky Ward to Attend Martinez-Dzinziruk Card", 3MoreRounds.com, February 24, 2011
- Lem Satterfield, provided by (2011-01-07). "Surprised Micky Ward's 'Honesty And Integrity' Recognized". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- Aranda, Ramon. "Mark Wahlberg Confirms The Fighter 2 in the Works", 3MoreRounds.com, June 10, 2011
- "The Warrior's Code. Dropkick Murphys". Dropkickmurphys.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "Epitaph Records. Dropkick Murphys". Epitaph.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- Adams, David. "Ward, Gatti for Fight Night Round 3 Cover" Xbox.IGN.com, December 12, 2005
- Halloran, Bob. Irish Thunder: The Hard Life & Times of Micky Ward (Lyons Press, 2010) ISBN 978-0-7627-6986-5
- Cooley, Will. "'Vanilla Thrillas': Modern Boxing and White-Ethnic Masculinity," Journal of Sport and Social Issues 34:4 (November, 2010), 418–437.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Micky Ward|
- Official Micky Ward Web Site
- Team Micky Ward Charities
- Professional boxing record for Micky Ward from BoxRec