Micky Ward interview
By Vitali Shaposhnikov: As a boxing journalist I always try to please my readers with the content of my writing. The best way to do this seems to be by getting in-between the cracks and interviewing some of our greats. I always love speaking with current and retired fighters. The interviews display a wide spectrum of personalities and opinions, as well as different takes on the current boxing scene. While most boxers possessed a number of attributes that make up a champion, none had the heart and determination like the fighter I spoke with this morning.
Article posted on 21.10.2010
Micky Ward (38-13-0) is a living legend. The display of drive and consistency in his fights was nothing short of mind-blowing. He gave his fans everything they might possibly want from a fight. He came to fight, and fight he did. Even when getting pummeled in some of his fights, the fire in Mickyís eyes never faded. Sometimes watching him fight, I lost all hope for Micky, yet he came out of nowhere to drop his opponents. With time, most boxing viewers learned a simple fact: under no circumstances can hope be lost for Micky Ward! Wardís destructive body punching was, and is, best in the sport.
Micky won three New England Golden Glove titles before deciding to take off the head gear and try to mix it up with the pros. Since then, his career was full of ups and downs, but it concluded in a very respectable fashion. Arturo Gatti (R.I.P.) and Micky Ward put on a show to remember, three times! With this trilogy, Micky concluded his career, and solidified his name in boxing history.
Speaking with Micky was easy. He is humble and soft spoken. He never seemed tense or careful with his words, showing his honesty and respect. We talked for over half an hour, and it was not only informative, but his sense of humor made it entertaining as well. Unfortunately Micky is not much for words, so I am posting all that I could get. Below is my interview with Micky Ward (audio coming soon on YouTube). Please enjoy!
VS: Who was the hardest puncher that you have ever faced in your entire career?
MW: There were so many good punchers that I just donít know. Alfonso Sanchez was pretty good, Arturo Gatti of course. There really were a lot of great punchers. Hard to really say.
VS: What do you think about ďThe FighterĒ and how much input did you have in making the film?
MW: Well I did some boxing with them to show them. But I was pretty much there. I did have say in the movie. Obviously they needed some details about me, so I told them.
VS: Do you think that the movie is a good representation of yourself and your life?
MW: Its good yea, but its more about two brothers. Its about my life too, but its also mor than that.
VS: How much of an emotional and physical toll did the Gatti trilogy have on you?
MW: Definitely a lot of physical. You know what I am taking about. The toughest three fights of my career. Emotionally it was has too with what happened in the fights. I looked at them like any other fight, but in reality it was special. It was very special.
VS: Are you satisfied with the fact that your career ended the way it did: with the Gatti trilogy? Also, how did you feel when Arturo passed away?
MW: Oh yea most definitely satisfied. I was very sad when he passed away. I went through a lot with him. It was tough. But its life, what are you going to do. You canít bring him back.
VS: What was your relationship like with Gatti outside of the ring?
MW: Oh yea we were friends. I actually trained him for his last fight. He didnít have much left at that point anyway, but still. But yea we were friends. We talked on the phone all night, I would go visit him and we would hang out a lot. We were really close.
VS: Are you training anyone right now?
MW: I do have a couple of fighters. I have been training since I retired. Just training some local guys, and my nephew.
VS: In your fights, where did you draw your mental strength from? Sometimes it seemed like you have an untapped, unlimited supply of determination and mental willÖHow did you manage to get that way?
MW: I guess itís just the will to do that: to keep fighting and punching back. I just really wanted to win, and thatís where that was from.
VS: do you have any regrets in terms of your career? Anything you would take back if you could?
MW: Ehhh, not too many regrets no. Maybe after a very hard fight or a loss, I would take an easier fight when coming back. I wouldnít take so many hard fights in a row.
VS: Given what you know now about boxing and life overall, do you think that if you knew all that many years back, you would be able to change your career in any way? In other words, have you gained anything in boxing throughout your life that you would have liked to know earlier?
MW: No not really. You obviously get smarter as you progress in your career, but honestly I wouldnít change anything. It is what it was, and there is no reason to change anything.
VS: Are there any fighters that you wish you would have faced in your career but never had the chance to?
MW: Naa. No. No. Noope. Im pretty contempt with what happened.
VS: It looks like you have a busy yet enjoyable retirement. Do you ever crave the fight?
MW: Well I am busy you know, training some fighters, and helping with the movie. Just trying to stay busy. Do I ever crave boxing back? No. Not at all you know. Because anytime I fought I trained as hard as I could. I never cut any corners. I did everything right. I never lost a fight because I wasnít in shape or because I wasnít ready. I lost because I was either beaten by a man better than me, or it wasnít my night.
VS: Who was your all time favorite fighter?
MW: I liked Leonard, Duran, Tommy Hearns, guy like that. All the 70s fighters. There were a lot of good Mexican fighters.
VS: Any interesting plans for the future?
MW: Not really. Iím working and training. I got a couple of businesses going.
VS: Micky, whatís your favorite beer?
MW: (Laughs) Amstel Light, Heineken Light, those two. Sometimes I like the pint beer, Guinness.
VS: Who would you say, is the modern day Micky Ward?
MW: Oh I donít know, there are so many good fighters. I donít watch every fight; I am not huge on watching fights on TV. Because I did it my whole life. But I do watch the big fights. I follow the little fights too sometimes; I just donít have to watch every single fight that happens.
VS: What are you thoughts on the Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao situation?
MW: I just wish they would fight. But I donít know why, I guess they have their reasons. Who knows who is telling the truth and who isnít? But I would watch that fight.
VS: Who would be your favorite in that fight?
MW: Oh I would be in-between. Manny is one hell of a fighter, and a nice guy. And Floys is number one. So I donít know itís tough. So really I donít know.
VS: Whatís the history of your tattoo of the Irish Cross?
MW: Oh I donít know, I wanted to get an Irish cross so I got one. There was nothing behind it. I thought about getting it. There was no Amstel Light involved.
VS: Anything you would like to say to your fans?
MW: Oh yea, just wanted to say thank you for remembering me. Thank you for following me. Go see the movie!
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