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Micky Ward

Micky Ward
Ward in March 2011
Statistics
Real name George Michael Ward, Jr.
Nickname(s) Irish
Rated at Light welterweight
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Reach 178 cm (70 in)
Nationality American
Born (1965-10-04) October 4, 1965
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 as "Irish" Micky Ward, is an American former professional boxer who held the WBU light welterweight title. He is widely known for his three fights with Arturo Gatti, as well as the 2010 feature film based on his career titled The Fighter, in which he is portrayed by Mark Wahlberg.

Contents

  • Early career 1
  • Hiatus 2
  • Return to the ring 3
  • Ward vs. Gatti trilogy 4
  • After boxing 5
  • Professional boxing record 6
  • In popular culture 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10

Early career

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

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

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

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.

All told, Ward made approximately $3 million in earnings for his trilogy with Gatti; the most lucrative fights of his career.[6]

After boxing

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

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 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.[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

  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. ^
  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. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Adams, David. Cover"Fight Night Round 3"Ward, Gatti for Xbox.IGN.com, December 12, 2005

Further reading

  • 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

  • Official Micky Ward Web Site
  • Team Micky Ward Charities
  • datos y curiosidadesde sobre Micky Ward en espanol
  • Professional boxing record for Micky Ward from BoxRec
Preceded by
Shea Neary
WBU Light Welterweight Champion
March 11, 2000 – October 21 2000
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Jason Rowland
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