" Micky Ward
Weight Class: Junior Welterweight
sfc's Jr. Welterweight Ranking: 10th
sfc's Pound for Pound Ranking: 40th
Available Bio: Boxing has been Ward's life. He started training at the age of 7 and is still going today. Since Ward has never been among the "elite" of boxing he, like many boxers, has always had a second job. He worked as a prison guard for a while, and then as a steamroller operator (which he still does part time).
Personality, etc.: Micky Ward is a very likeable guy. He comes across a just a regular working class American, because he is one. It only takes one fight and one interview to make you a big fan of Micky Ward.
Amateur: Ward had a good amateur career winning several Golden Gloves championships but didn't appear in the Olympics.
Early Career: Ward racked up a handful of wins (and a couple of losses) early on and became a regular on ESPN. He was soon matched up against some of the best second-tier fighters in the division losing 2 attempts at the USBA Jr. Welter title and one for the IBF International Title. This left Ward with a record of 21-7, and a string of 4 losses in a row. In addition to this Ward was having trouble with his hands. This led to three years of inactivity.
vs. Vince Phillips: Ward started his comeback in 1994 and by 1997 was in the ring with IBF Junior Welter champion Vince Phillips. Unfortunately the fight would be stopped because of a cut above Ward's eye, giving him another loss at the championship level.
vs. Zab Judah: A couple of fights later Ward was matched against future star, Zab Judah, for the vacant USBA belt. He would lose a 12-round decision. A big problem for Ward was that his right hand had become useless. This would have ended Ward's career if not for a surgery involving fusing bone from his pelvis to his right hand.
vs. Antonio Diaz: Ward quickly got back into the eyes of Boxing fans by winning a "Fight of the Year" type fight against Reggie Green, winning the WBU World Jr. Welterweight title from Irishman Sean Neary, and losing a tough fought battle against Antonio Diaz that was also a "Fight of the Year" candidate in 2000.
vs. Emmanuel Burton: Considered by many to be The Fight of the Year. Neither man was well known but they still gave the fans an amazing fight. 10 rounds of non-stop action. Some fights with lots of punches aren't really that great, especially if neither guy is a big puncher. This wasn't the case here. Both guys were throwing "punches in bunches" with "bad intentions". The fight also had a very palpable "ebb and flow" to it. Burton would change styles and pull ahead only to be countered by Ward. In round nine Ward followed a left hook to the chin with an absolutely devastating left hook to the body. Burton took a knee in an obvious great deal of pain. Most people watching were sure it was over but Burton somehow managed to get up and last through the round. The final round opened with everyone on their feet cheering as Ward and Burton let everything go for the last three minutes. In the end, Ward's hands were raised into the air with a unanimous decision.
vs. Jesse James Leija: This was supposed to a repeat of the Burton fight with Ward matched up against another action fighter. Unfortunately the fight was stopped in the fifth round because of cut caused by an accidental headbutt. They went to the scorecards and Leija was declared the winner. To make things worse, it seems clear that the cut was cause by a punch thrown by Ward. In the end, the fight wasn't so bad for Ward as it lead to his upcoming fight.
vs. Arturo Gatti: If Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis fight like Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti did in this fight then it would be declared one of the five Greatest Fights Ever. Since he's a Jr. Welterweight Micky Ward will have to live with another Fight of the Year. Arturo Gatti used his much better "Boxing" skills to pummel Ward through three rounds. In the 4th Ward started to get through to him and Gatti landed a devastating low blow for which Gatti was deducted a point. Gatti lead through most of round 5 only to get caught at the end. Gatti dropped his defense and seemed to be "asleep on the ropes" but was saved by the bell. Gatti went back to boxing and won rounds 6 and 7 but was again rocked in the eigth. The next round was described by HBO's Jim Lampley as "one of the best three rounds" he had ever seen. Ward put the pressure on Gatti and then landed his patented left hook to the body in the perfect position forcing Gatti to take a knee. Not only did Gatti get up from this blow but he took control of the middle of the round. But Ward came back near the end of it landing blow after blow to Gatti's head as he was once again "asleep on the ropes" and, once again, Gatti was saved by the bell. Gatti would also surprise everyone watching by clearly winning the 10th and final round. In the end the fight was declared a Majority Decision for Micky Ward. See Micky Ward vs Arturo Gatti for a more detailed look at this fight.
Heart: Micky Ward has always shown tremendous heart, and that's one of the most important things for a fan of Boxing. Ward will never give up and will keep attacking until his opponent is defeated or his body simply stops functioning.
Body Punching: Ward is notorious for his left hook to the "liver". His body punching can lead to a sudden KO, or slowly break down his tougher opponents.
Straight Forward Style: Ward tends to fail against much faster, skilled boxers. He fights with a sort of straight forward attacking "Mexican" style. A good fast boxer can avoid his attack and win a decision.
Micky Ward is looking for one or two more fights before he gets out of the fight game with his brain still intact. And he's definitely looking for money. A rematch with Gatti is certainly possible but I'm not sure if either guy really wants to go through that again. Another option would be the Undisputed Jr. Welterweight Champion, Kostya Tszyu. Tszyu fought Ben Tackie the same day as the Gatti fight and won decisively by using his boxing skills to defeat the Ward-like fighter. A fight with Tszyu would probably be like the first three rounds against Gatti, but for the whole 12-round fight. Of course, the pay day from this possibly Pay-Per-View match-up might make this fight happen.
Last Updated: May 19, 2002
HBO's Boxing After Dark
ESPN's Friday Night Fights