CANASTOTA, NY – JANUARY 25, 2013 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today “Irish” Micky Ward, whose life was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning motion picture The Fighter, will attend festivities planned for the 24th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend set for June 6-9th and pay tribute to 2013 Inductee Arturo “Thunder” Gatti.
“Micky Ward was a true warrior inside the ropes,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame is excited to welcome him back to Canastota to help recognize the achievements of his fellow warrior and friend Arturo Gatti.”
Ward and Gatti, who will be inducted posthumously, engaged in an epic trilogy that earned “Fight of the Year” honors for their first and third bouts (2002 & 2003). The two fighters developed a friendship and remained close until Gatti’s passing in 2009.
Said Ward of Gatti’s induction, “He gave it all in the ring. He gave everything to the sport of boxing. He gave the fans what they wanted. He was a great fighter, a two-time world champion and was in ‘Fight of the Year’ four times. I’m really happy for Arturo.”
The fighting pride of Lowell, MA, Ward was one of boxing’s most exciting fighters. He turned pro in 1985 and used a crowd-pleasing style to register a 38-13 (27 KOs) record. In addition to his rivalry with Gatti, Ward scored wins over Shea Neary, Reggie Green and Emanuel Burton. During his career, he was in “Fight of the Year” three times (2001 vs. Burton, 2002 and 2003 vs. Gatti). Ward’s life was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning motion picture The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg starring as Ward and Christian Bale as his brother / trainer Dicky Eklund.
Events planned for the weekend include a banquet, a night of welterweight warriors, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2013. Inductees include two-division champion Gatti (posthumous), five-time world champion Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill and two-time light flyweight champion Myung-Woo Yuh in the Modern category; “Let’s Get It On” referee Mills Lane, ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr. and journalist Colin Hart. Posthumous inductees in the Old-Timer, Pioneer, Non-Participant and Observer categories will also be honored.
An impressive list of over 40 boxing greats from the United States and abroad are scheduled to participate in weekend festivities.
For more information on the Hall of Fame’s 24th Annual Induction Weekend please call (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.