“Irish” Micky Ward grew up in the 1970s and ’80s as a
tough kid from Lowell, Massachusetts—a town where young men became boxers as a
means of survival. Ward participated in street fights from an early age and was
forever known by his opponents and spectators as the underdog. But with his
incredible ability to suddenly drop an opponent late in a fight with his
trademark left hook, he kept proving everyone wrong. A hard worker who overcame
bad luck, bad management, and chronic pain in his hands, he avoided the pitfall
of poverty and dead-end work that plagued Lowell to become a Golden Gloves
After fifteen years of boxing, a string of defeats, and
three years of retirement, Micky battled Arturo Gatti in 2002 in the battle
that was later named “Fight of the Year” by Ring magazine and
dubbed “Fight of the Century” by boxing writers and fans across the country.
Ten rounds of brutal action ended with Micky winning by decision, and reviving
enthusiasm for a sport that had been weighted down by years of showboating and
Thunder, ESPN columnist and Boston television reporter Bob Halloran recounts
Ward’s rise to hero status, his rivalry with his imprisoned brother, and the
negotiations, betrayals, and drugs that shaped a wild youth who ultimately
became a nationally respected boxer. A wrenching account of life in blue-collar
America, this is a story about a boxer from a boxing family and a boxing town—Ward’s
dramatic victories inside the ring are recounted in gripping detail, but it is
his victory outside the ring that inspires.
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