Micky Ward

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Micky Ward
Micky Ward.jpg
Ward in March 2011
Statistics
Real name George Michael Ward Jr.
Nickname(s) "Irish"
Rated at Light welterweight
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Reach 70 in (178 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1965-10-04) October 4, 1965 (age 51)
Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 51
Wins 38
Wins by KO 28
Losses 13

George Michael "Micky" Ward Jr. (born October 4, 1965), often known by nickname of "Irish" Micky Ward, is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2003. He challenged once for the IBF light welterweight title in 1997, and held the WBU light welterweight title in 2000. Ward is widely known for his trilogy of fights with Arturo Gatti, as well as the 2010 feature film based on his early career titled The Fighter, in which he is portrayed by Mark Wahlberg.

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 to achieve this since Rocky Marciano and Carmen Basilio each did so in the 1950s.

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]

Professional record summary
51 fights 38 wins 13 losses
By knockout 27 1
By decision 11 12
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
51 Loss 38–13 Canada Arturo Gatti UD 10 Jun 7, 2003 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
50 Loss 38–12 Canada Arturo Gatti UD 10 Nov 23, 2002 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
49 Win 38–11 Canada Arturo Gatti MD 10 May 18, 2002 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.
48 Loss 37–11 United States Jesse James Leija TD 5 (10), 3:00 Jan 5, 2002 United States Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas, U.S. Split TD after Leija sustained a cut from an accidental head clash
47 Win 37–10 United States Emanuel Augustus UD 10 Jul 13, 2001 United States Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, U.S.
46 Win 36–10 United States Steve Quinonez KO 1 (10), 3:03 May 18, 2001 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
45 Loss 35–10 Mexico Antonio Díaz UD 10 Aug 19, 2000 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
44 Win 35–9 United Kingdom Shea Neary TKO 8 (12), 2:55 Mar 11, 2000 United Kingdom Olympia, London, England Won WBU light welterweight title
43 Win 34–9 United States Reggie Green TKO 10 (10), 2:40 Oct 1, 1999 United States Icenter, Salem, New Hampshire, U.S.
42 Win 33–9 United States Jermal Corbin RTD 5 (10), 3:00 Jul 16, 1999 United States Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire]], U.S.
41 Win 32–9 United States Jose Luis Mendez TKO 3 (8) Mar 17, 1999 United States The Roxy, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
40 Loss 31–9 United States Zab Judah UD 12 Jun 7, 1998 United States Miccosukee Resort and Gaming, Miami, Florida, U.S. For vacant USBA interim light welterweight title
39 Win 31–8 United States Mark Fernandez KO 3 (8), 1:57 Apr 14, 1998 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
38 Loss 30–8 United States Vince Phillips TKO 3 (12), 2:49 Aug 9, 1997 United States The Roxy, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. For IBF light welterweight title
37 Win 30–7 Mexico Alfonso Sanchez KO 7 (10), 1:53 Apr 12, 1997 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
36 Win 29–7 United States Manny Castillo SD 10 Dec 6, 1996 United States Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
35 Win 28–7 United States Louis Veader UD 12 Jul 28, 1996 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S. Retained WBU Intercontinental light welterweight title
34 Win 27–7 United States Louis Veader TKO 9 (12), 1:28 Apr 13, 1996 United States FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. Won WBU Intercontinental light welterweight title
33 Win 26–7 United States Alex Ortiz TKO 1 (6) Mar 15, 1996 United States Wonderland Greyhound Park, Revere, Massachusetts, U.S.
32 Win 25–7 Puerto Rico Alberto Alicea TKO 3 (8) Jan 26, 1996 United States Wonderland Greyhound Park, Revere, Massachusetts, U.S.
31 Win 24–7 United States Edgardo Rosario TKO 1 (4) Dec 30, 1995 United States Wonderland Greyhound Park, Revere, Massachusetts, U.S.
30 Win 23–7 United States Genaro Andujar KO 3 (10) Sep 10, 1994 United States Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
29 Win 22–7 United States Luis Castillo TKO 5 (10) Jun 17, 1994 United States Sheraton Inn, Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
28 Loss 21–7 United States Ricky Meyers UD 10 Oct 15, 1991 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
27 Loss 21–6 United States Tony Martin UD 10 May 2, 1991 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
26 Loss 21–5 United States Charles Murray UD 12 Oct 18, 1990 United States Community War Memorial, Rochester, New York, U.S. For vacant USBA light welterweight title
25 Loss 21–4 United States Harold Brazier UD 12 Apr 26, 1990 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. For IBF Inter-Continental light welterweight title
24 Win 21–3 United States David Rivello SD 10 Feb 3, 1990 United States Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
23 Win 20–3 United States Clarence Coleman TKO 5 (10), 2:50 May 23, 1989 United States Showboat, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
22 Loss 19–3 United States Frankie Warren UD 12 Jan 15, 1989 United States Circus Maximus Showroom, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. For USBA light welterweight title
21 Win 19–2 Brazil Francisco Tomas da Cruz TKO 3 (10), 0:45 Dec 13, 1988 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
20 Loss 18–2 United States Mike Mungin UD 10 Sep 9, 1988 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
19 Win 18–1 United States Marvin Garris TKO 2 (10) Jul 9, 1988 United States Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
18 Win 17–1 United States David Silva UD 10 May 19, 1988 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
17 Win 16–1 United States Joey Olivera UD 10 Feb 19, 1988 United States Bally's Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
16 Win 15–1 United States Joey Ferrell TKO 1 (10), 2:36 Jan 15, 1988 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
15 Loss 14–1 Puerto Rico Edwin Curet SD 10 Sep 25, 1987 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 United States Derrick McGuire TKO 4 (8), 2:33 Aug 25, 1987 United States Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 United States Kelly Koble TKO 4 (8), 3:00 Apr 6, 1987 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 United States Hilario Mercedes SD 8 Feb 24, 1987 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Argentina Carlos Brandi KO 2 (10), 2:55 Oct 24, 1986 United States Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States John Rafuse UD 8 Aug 29, 1986 United States Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Rafael Terrero TKO 2 (6), 1:12 Jul 4, 1986 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Ken Willis PTS 6 Jun 15, 1986 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Luis Pizarro TKO 3 (6), 2:39 May 30, 1986 United States Harrah's at Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Darrell Curtis TKO 5 (6), 2:05 Apr 18, 1986 United States Harrah's at Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 Puerto Rico Jesus Carlos Velez KO 6 (6), 2:02 Feb 21, 1986 United States Harrah's at Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Mike Peoples UD 4 Jan 24, 1986 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Chris Bajor TKO 3 (4), 1:17 Jan 10, 1986 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Greg Young TKO 4 (4), 1:45 Aug 27, 1985 United States Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States David Morin TKO 1 (4), 1:20 Jun 13, 1985 United States Roll-On-America Skating Rink, Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S. Professional Debut

Titles in boxing[edit]

Minor world titles
Preceded by
Shea Neary
WBU light welterweight champion
March 11, 2000 – October 21, 2000
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Jason Rowland

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]

Philadelphia hip hop group Jedi Mind Tricks released two remixes to their single, Animal Rap from their third album Visions of Gandhi (2003), dubbed the "Micky Ward Mix" and "Arturo Gatti Mix".

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]

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 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.
  • Raspanti, John J. and Taylor, Dennis. "Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy" [Rowman and Littlefield], (2016.) ISBN 978-1442273054

External links[edit]