Micky Ward

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Micky Ward
Micky Ward.jpg
Ward in March 2011
Statistics
Real nameGeorge Michael Ward
Nickname(s)Irish
Rated atJunior welterweight
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Reach178 cm (70 in)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1965-10-04) October 4, 1965 (age 48)
Lowell, Massachusetts, US
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights51
Wins38
Wins by KO28
Losses13
Draws0
No contests0
 
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Micky Ward
Micky Ward.jpg
Ward in March 2011
Statistics
Real nameGeorge Michael Ward
Nickname(s)Irish
Rated atJunior welterweight
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Reach178 cm (70 in)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1965-10-04) October 4, 1965 (age 48)
Lowell, Massachusetts, US
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights51
Wins38
Wins by KO28
Losses13
Draws0
No contests0

George Michael "Micky" Ward (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.

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]

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.RecordOpponentTypeRd., TimeDateLocationNotes
Loss38–13Canada Arturo GattiUD10 (10)2003-06-07United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey2003 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.
Loss38–12Canada Arturo GattiUD10 (10)2002-11-23United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win38–11Canada Arturo GattiMD10 (10)2002-05-18United States Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut2002 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.
Loss37–11United States Jesse James LeijaTD5 (10)2002-01-05United States Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, TexasFight stopped due to a cut on Leija.
Win37–10United States Emanuel AugustusUD10 (10)2001-07-13United States Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire2001 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.
Win36–10United States Steve QuinonezKO1 (10), 3:032001-05-18United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
Loss35–10Mexico Antonio DíazUD10 (10)2000-08-19United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
Win35–9United Kingdom Shea NearyTKO8 (12), 2:552000-03-11United Kingdom Olympia, LondonWon WBU Light Welterweight title.
Win34–9United States Reggie GreenTKO10 (10), 2:401999-10-01United States Icenter, Salem, New Hampshire
Win33–9United States Jermal CorbinTKO5 (10)1999-07-16United States Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Win32–9United States Jose Luis MendezTKO3 (?)1999-03-17United States Boston, Massachusetts
Loss31–9United States Zab JudahUD12 (12)1998-06-07United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, FloridaFor interim USBA Light Welterweight title.
Win31–8United States Mark FernandezKO3 (8), 1:571998-04-14United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
Loss30–8United States Vince PhillipsTKO3 (12), 2:491997-08-09United States The Roxy, Boston, MassachusettsFor IBF Light Welterweight title. Cut eye stoppage.
Win30–7Mexico Alfonso SanchezKO7 (10), 1:531997-04-12United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win29–7United States Manny CastilloSD10 (10)1996-12-06United States Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada
Win28–7United States Louis VeaderUD12 (12)1996-07-28United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, ConnecticutRetained WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title.
Win27–7United States Louis VeaderTKO9 (12), 1:281996-04-13United States Fleet Center, Boston, MassachusettsWon WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title.
Win26–7United States Alex OrtizTKO1 (6)1996-03-15United StatesWonderland Ballroom, Revere, Massachusetts
Win25–7Puerto Rico Alberto AliceaTKO3 (8)1996-01-26United StatesWonderland Ballroom, Revere, Massachusetts
Win24–7United States Edgardo RosarioTKO1 (4)1995-12-30United StatesWonderland Greyhound Park, Revere, Massachusetts
Win23–7United States Genaro AndujarKO3 (10)1994-09-10United StatesLowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Win22–7United States Luis CastilloTKO5 (10)1994-06-17United StatesSheraton Inn, Lowell, Massachusetts
Loss21–7United States Ricky MeyersUD10 (10)1991-10-15United StatesHarrah's Trump Plaza Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss21–6United States Tony MartinUD10 (10)1991-05-02United StatesTrump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss21–5United States Charles MurrayUD12 (12)1990-10-18United StatesRochester War Memorial, Rochester, NYFor USBA Light Welterweight title.
Loss21–4United States Harold BrazierUD12 (12)1990-04-26United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New JerseyFor IBF Inter-Continental Welterweight title.
Win21–3United States David RivelloSD10 (10)1990-02-03United StatesHynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Win20–3United States Clarence ColemanTKO5 (10)1989-05-23United StatesShowboat Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss19–3United States Frankie WarrenUD12 (12)1989-01-15United StatesCaesar's Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New JerseyFor USBA Light Welterweight title.
Win19–2Brazil Francisco Tomas da CruzTKO3 (10)1988-12-13United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss18–2United States Mike MunginUD10 (10)1988-09-09United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win18–1United States Marvin GarrisTKO2 (?)1988-07-09United StatesSands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win17–1United States David SilvaUD10 (10)1988-05-19United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win16–1United States Joey OliveraUD10 (10)1988-02-19United StatesBally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win15–1United States Joey FerrellTKO1 (10)1988-01-15United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss14–1Puerto Rico Edwin CuretSD10 (10)1987-09-25United StatesResorts Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win14–0United States Derrick McGuireTKO4 (8)1987-08-25United StatesBallys Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win13–0United States Kelly KobleTKO4 (8)1987-04-06United StatesCaesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win12–0United States Hilario MercedesSD8 (8)1987-02-24United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win11–0Argentina Carlos BrandiKO2 (10)1986-10-24United StatesLowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Win10–0United States John RafuseUD8 (8)1986-08-29United StatesLowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Win9–0United States Rafael TerreroTKO2 (6)1986-07-04United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win8–0United States Ken WillisPTS6 (6)1986-06-15United StatesAtlantic City, New Jersey
Win7–0United States Luis PizzarroTKO3 (6)1986-05-30United StatesTrump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win6–0United States Darrell CurtisTKO5 (?)1986-04-18United StatesTrump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win5–0Puerto Rico Jesus Carlos VelezKO6 (6)1986-02-21United StatesTrump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win4–0United States Mike PeoplesUD4 (4)1986-01-24United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win3–0United States Chris BajorTKO3 (4)1986-01-10United StatesResorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win2–0United States Greg YoungTKO4 (4)1985-08-27United StatesMemorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Win1–0United States David MorinTKO1 (4)1985-06-13United StatesRoll-On-America Skating Rink, Lawrence, MassachusettsMicky'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 the Dropkick Murphys features Ward on the cover, and he is also the subject of the title song. The live version is played in the film, 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]

External links[edit]