Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund certainly are characters

After talking to "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother Dicky Eklund, the Grand Marshalls of this year's Parade of Champions in Canastota, it's easy to imagine how a full length feature film was made out of their lives. The real-life boxers from the movie The Fighter are two down-to-earth guys who are quick to crack a joke that you can't help but laugh at. That is - if you can understand their thick Massachusetts accents (they're both from Lowell).
"Christain Bale says talking like Dicky is like putting a frog in boiling water," Eklund said of the actor that won a best supporting actor for playing him.
The movie portrayed Eklund and Ward going through some of the most difficult times of their lives and spares none of the embarrassing details. 
Eklund, however, has no problem talking about his past addiction to crack cocaine or incarceration.
"I was talking to a judge the other day," Eklund said of a recent conversation in Lowell. "He was sayin', 'everyone knows you're doing well. I had to lock you up one time and your mother wasn't happy with me.' I said, 'I was.' It was pretty sad that I was looking forward to getting locked up. (Now) I'm no better than everyone else I'm just better than I used to be."
The movie also stars Ward's colorful mother, Alice Ward who was portrayed by Melissa Leo, and sisters who were very involved with his boxing career. Alice saw Leo win a supporting actress Oscar for the role this winter, then died at the age of 79 in April.
When asked if any other family members were going to make the trip to Canastota Ward joked, "they don't want to see them."
Ward participated in the Nate The Great 5k race last year and plans to enter again in 2011. Eklund doesn't think his knees can handle running after two knee surgeries. Running forward that is.
"I ran five miles backwards," Eklund said.


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