Irish Micky Ward: "The Fighter" speaks out
The real-life boxer behind the Oscar-nominated movie
“Some of the people in my family don’t like the movie,” Micky acknowledges. “I understand how they feel. But I like it; I think it’s great. The one thing I’m sorry about is that they ended the movie before my three fights with Arturo. They wanted the film to focus on me and Dickie and Dickie’s problems with drugs. But Arturo was such a great guy. We shared so much. He had his issues; he lived like he fought. But he deserved to be in the movie.”
Dickie Eklund has had problems with drugs and the law in the years since the happy ending portrayed in 'The Fighter.'
Micky has enjoyed smoother sailing and is content with his life today. He and Charlene were married in 2005. He has one child, a 21-year-old daughter named Kasie, from a previous relationship, and is a member of Teamsters Union, Local 25, in Boston.
“I shuttle people around to movie sets when there’s work in town,” he explains. “When I’m not doing that, I’m busy with other things.”
Those other things include part ownership of an outdoor hockey rink in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and teaching youngsters to box on the second floor of a nearby Gold’s Gym.
“I loved boxing,” Ward says, looking back on his years in the ring. “The one-on-one, the competition. Being a fighter is about sacrificing your body and doing everything you can within the rules to win. I gave boxing everything that was in me. I never cut corners in training or in a fight. I started my career at 140 pounds and I finished my career at 140 pounds, which tells you how hard I worked to stay in shape. I still follow boxing.
John Duddy [the Derry middleweight now living in New York] is one of my favorite fighters. I’ve met him a few times; he’s a great guy. He gives it his all and never complains. He fights like me, which is one of the reasons I like watching him. But the fighting part of my life is over now. I’m 45 years old. To be honest with you, I don’t miss it.”
It has been suggested that The Fighter will boost Ward’s profile the same way that "Raging Bull" elevated Jake LaMotta to iconic status. In truth, that’s unlikely to happen. LaMotta was a hall-of-fame fighter. Micky was a courageous warrior, but his skills weren’t at that level.
And just as significantly, Ward shuns the limelight. “Some people like a lot of attention,” he says. “I don’t. I’m happy being in the background, so the movie won’t change my life. I’m just a regular guy, the same old me. Don’t worry; I won’t go Hollywood on you.”
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