“Irish” Micky Ward was always the underdog—one able to stage a stunning comeback late in a fight. After a fifteen-year pro career followed by a string of defeats and three years of retirement, the Lowell, Massachusetts, native defeated Arturo Gatti in 2002, capturing the world light welterweight title. The grueling battle—named “Fight of the Year” by Ring magazine and “Fight of the Century” by boxing fans around America—was broadcast live on HBO, made Ward famous, and launched two legendary rematches.
In Irish Thunder, 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. This is a story about a boxer from a boxing family and a boxing town—and it is a wrenching account of life in blue-collar America. Ward's dramatic victories inside the ring are recounted in gripping detail, but it is his victory outside the ring that inspires.
Author Bob Halloran is a consultant on a major motion picture due in 2010, The Fighter, that tells the Micky Ward story and stars Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.
“The themes in Micky's . . . story of family, betrayal, brotherly love, tragedy, triumph, being an underdog, perseverance, and redemption, set against a boxing backdrop, resonate with nonboxing fans. Think ‘Rocky' for the new millennium.”
“Bob Halloran does a remarkable job in describing the actual key bouts of Lowell's champion boxer. You can almost feel the punches and intensity of the brutal sport."
—The Sun (Lowell, MA)
“[T]errific. . . . compellingly powerful. . . . Ward was a fighter who was hard to keep down. Irish Thunder is a book that is hard to put down."
The story behind the Major Motion Picture The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale: boxer Micky Ward's unlikely road to becoming a world champion