Micky Ward

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Micky Ward
Micky Ward.jpg
Ward in March 2011
Statistics
Real name George Michael Ward, Jr.
Nickname(s) Irish
Rated at Junior welterweight
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Reach 178 cm (70 in)
Nationality American
Born (1965-10-04) October 4, 1965 (age 49)
Lowell, Massachusetts, US
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 51
Wins 38
Wins by KO 28
Losses 13
Draws 0
No contests 0

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.

Early career[edit]

Ward was a three-time New England Golden Gloves champion boxer who turned pro in 1985,[1] winning his first fourteen fights.[2] However, his career leveled off, and after losing four consecutive fights in 1990/91, Ward took a hiatus from boxing.[3]

Hiatus[edit]

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.[3] 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.[1]

Return to the ring[edit]

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.[2] He defended the belt once, in a rematch against Veader.[2] 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,[2] 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.[2]

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.[2] 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.[4]

Ward vs. Gatti trilogy[edit]

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."[3]

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.[3] The fight was named the 2003 Ring magazine fight of the year, the third straight for Ward.[5] 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.[6]

After boxing[edit]

Ward still lives in Lowell, where he is part owner of both a boxing gym as well as an outdoor hockey rink.[7] 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.[8]

Professional boxing record[edit]

38 Wins (27 knockouts, 11 decisions), 13 Losses (1 eye-stoppage, 12 decisions), 0 Draws[2]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Loss 38–13 Canada Arturo Gatti UD 10 (10) 2003-06-07 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey 2003 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.
Loss 38–12 Canada Arturo Gatti UD 10 (10) 2002-11-23 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 38–11 Canada Arturo Gatti MD 10 (10) 2002-05-18 United States Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut 2002 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.
Loss 37–11 United States Jesse James Leija TD 5 (10) 2002-01-05 United States Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas Fight stopped due to a cut on Leija.
Win 37–10 United States Emanuel Augustus UD 10 (10) 2001-07-13 United States Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire 2001 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.
Win 36–10 United States Steve Quinonez KO 1 (10), 3:03 2001-05-18 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
Loss 35–10 Mexico Antonio Díaz UD 10 (10) 2000-08-19 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
Win 35–9 United Kingdom Shea Neary TKO 8 (12), 2:55 2000-03-11 United Kingdom Olympia, Kensington, London Won WBU Light Welterweight title.
Win 34–9 United States Reggie Green TKO 10 (10), 2:40 1999-10-01 United States Icenter, Salem, New Hampshire
Win 33–9 United States Jermal Corbin TKO 5 (10) 1999-07-16 United States Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Win 32–9 United States Jose Luis Mendez TKO 3 (?) 1999-03-17 United States Boston, Massachusetts
Loss 31–9 United States Zab Judah UD 12 (12) 1998-06-07 United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida For interim USBA Light Welterweight title.
Win 31–8 United States Mark Fernandez KO 3 (8), 1:57 1998-04-14 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
Loss 30–8 United States Vince Phillips TKO 3 (12), 2:49 1997-08-09 United States The Roxy, Boston, Massachusetts For IBF Light Welterweight title. Cut eye stoppage.
Win 30–7 Mexico Alfonso Sanchez KO 7 (10), 1:53 1997-04-12 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 29–7 United States Manny Castillo SD 10 (10) 1996-12-06 United States Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada
Win 28–7 United States Louis Veader UD 12 (12) 1996-07-28 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut Retained WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title.
Win 27–7 United States Louis Veader TKO 9 (12), 1:28 1996-04-13 United States Fleet Center, Boston, Massachusetts Won WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title.
Win 26–7 United States Alex Ortiz TKO 1 (6) 1996-03-15 United StatesWonderland Ballroom, Revere, Massachusetts
Win 25–7 Puerto Rico Alberto Alicea TKO 3 (8) 1996-01-26 United StatesWonderland Ballroom, Revere, Massachusetts
Win 24–7 United States Edgardo Rosario TKO 1 (4) 1995-12-30 United StatesWonderland Greyhound Park, Revere, Massachusetts
Win 23–7 United States Genaro Andujar KO 3 (10) 1994-09-10 United StatesLowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Win 22–7 United States Luis Castillo TKO 5 (10) 1994-06-17 United StatesSheraton Inn, Lowell, Massachusetts
Loss 21–7 United States Ricky Meyers UD 10 (10) 1991-10-15 United StatesHarrah's Trump Plaza Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss 21–6 United States Tony Martin UD 10 (10) 1991-05-02 United StatesTrump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss 21–5 United States Charles Murray UD 12 (12) 1990-10-18 United StatesRochester War Memorial, Rochester, NY For USBA Light Welterweight title.
Loss 21–4 United States Harold Brazier UD 12 (12) 1990-04-26 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey For IBF Inter-Continental Welterweight title.
Win 21–3 United States David Rivello SD 10 (10) 1990-02-03 United StatesHynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 20–3 United States Clarence Coleman TKO 5 (10) 1989-05-23 United StatesShowboat Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss 19–3 United States Frankie Warren UD 12 (12) 1989-01-15 United StatesCaesar's Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey For USBA Light Welterweight title.
Win 19–2 Brazil Francisco Tomas da Cruz TKO 3 (10) 1988-12-13 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss 18–2 United States Mike Mungin UD 10 (10) 1988-09-09 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 18–1 United States Marvin Garris TKO 2 (?) 1988-07-09 United StatesSands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 17–1 United States David Silva UD 10 (10) 1988-05-19 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 16–1 United States Joey Olivera UD 10 (10) 1988-02-19 United StatesBally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 15–1 United States Joey Ferrell TKO 1 (10) 1988-01-15 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss 14–1 Puerto Rico Edwin Curet SD 10 (10) 1987-09-25 United StatesResorts Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 14–0 United States Derrick McGuire TKO 4 (8) 1987-08-25 United StatesBallys Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 13–0 United States Kelly Koble TKO 4 (8) 1987-04-06 United StatesCaesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 12–0 United States Hilario Mercedes SD 8 (8) 1987-02-24 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 11–0 Argentina Carlos Brandi KO 2 (10) 1986-10-24 United StatesLowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Win 10–0 United States John Rafuse UD 8 (8) 1986-08-29 United StatesLowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Win 9–0 United States Rafael Terrero TKO 2 (6) 1986-07-04 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 8–0 United States Ken Willis PTS 6 (6) 1986-06-15 United StatesAtlantic City, New Jersey
Win 7–0 United States Luis Pizzarro TKO 3 (6) 1986-05-30 United StatesTrump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 6–0 United States Darrell Curtis TKO 5 (?) 1986-04-18 United StatesTrump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 5–0 Puerto Rico Jesus Carlos Velez KO 6 (6) 1986-02-21 United StatesTrump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 4–0 United States Mike Peoples UD 4 (4) 1986-01-24 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 3–0 United States Chris Bajor TKO 3 (4) 1986-01-10 United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 2–0 United States Greg Young TKO 4 (4) 1985-08-27 United StatesMemorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Win 1–0 United States David Morin TKO 1 (4) 1985-06-13 United StatesRoll-On-America Skating Rink, Lawrence, Massachusetts Micky's Professional Debut

In popular culture[edit]

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.[9]

The album The Warrior's Code by Dropkick Murphys features Ward on the cover, and he is also the subject of the title song. A live recording of the song is heard in The Fighter.[10][11]

The game Fight Night Round 3 (2006) features Ward and Gatti on the cover (PS2 and Xbox versions only).[12]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sheridan, Emily. "Mark Wahlberg swaps his Calvin Klein six-pack for a paunch to play out-of-shape boxer", Daily Mail, March 16, 2010
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Professional boxing record for Micky Ward from BoxRec
  3. ^ a b c d Lidz, Franz. "Uncommon Valor", Sports Illustrated, June 16, 2003
  4. ^ Quinones, Rafael Garcia. "Revisiting the Fight of the Year for 2001: Micky Ward vs. Emanuel Burton", BleacherReport.com, January 9, 2010
  5. ^ Boehm, Mike."Arturo Gatti: Remembering Ultimate Blood and Guts Warrior", ProBoxing-Fans.com, n.d.
  6. ^ Aranda, Ramon. "Micky Ward to Attend Martinez-Dzinziruk Card", 3MoreRounds.com, February 24, 2011
  7. ^ Lem Satterfield, provided by (2011-01-07). "Surprised Micky Ward's 'Honesty And Integrity' Recognized". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  8. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0964517/
  9. ^ Aranda, Ramon. "Mark Wahlberg Confirms The Fighter 2 in the Works", 3MoreRounds.com, June 10, 2011
  10. ^ "The Warrior's Code. Dropkick Murphys". Dropkickmurphys.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  11. ^ "Epitaph Records. Dropkick Murphys". Epitaph.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  12. ^ Adams, David. "Ward, Gatti for Fight Night Round 3 Cover" Xbox.IGN.com, December 12, 2005

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]