The real-life athlete that inspired one of 2010's best movies is coming to Utica later this month.


The Fitness Mill's LiveIt Downtown location is welcoming the legendary "Irish" Micky Ward for a meet and greet on Saturday, January 28th.

Mickey Ward, Shea Neary
Getty Images

Ward is scheduled to sign autographs between 11am and 5pm. People interested in meeting the Lowell, Massachusetts-born prizefighter will be required to pay a $5 admission fee, plus $40 for every autographed item.

The former three-time New England Golden Gloves champion made a huge splash on the boxing scene after turning pro in 1985, winning his first fourteen fights. After a string of four losses, he took a leave of absence from the sport, whereupon he underwent successful hand surgery and made a thundering comeback.

A particularly memorable bout occurred in 1997, where Ward fought an undefeated Alfonso Sanchez. Ward was clearly losing the bout, and the official warned of a stoppage if Ward didn't "show [him] something." Ward then upset Sanchez with a 7th round knockout victory after a hard left hook to the body.


Ward's comeback story was immortalized in the 2010 critically-acclaimed movie The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg as Ward and Christian Bale as his older half-brother Dicky Eklund. Wahlberg received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, but it was Bale who shined in his role, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Overall, The Fighter was nominated for seven Academy Awards and holds an impressive 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


In addition to the autograph session, Ward will be hosting a boxing seminar later in the day. For more info, check out the Fitness Mill's Facebook page.

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