Micky Ward – Still running on the streets of Lowell, thankfully.
I have either lived in Lowell or in the surrounding towns for most of my life. There are many celebrities from Lowell, most of whom are dead, including Ed McMahon, Jack Kerouac, and Bette Davis, but they left to pursue their careers and it seemed Lowell was but a footnote in their story.
I was driving in Lowell yesterday looking to get my oil changed and who do I see running on the side of the road but Micky Ward. Being a fight fan I recognized him immediately but I resisted the urge to stop and bother him simply because he was working out. I’ve had the pleasure of briefly meeting him in the past when I was an EMT in the city, never long enough for him to remember who I am surely.
Boxing is one of those sports where character is on display. Micky Ward wasn’t always the best fighter in the ring but I’ve always been AMAZED at his tenacity. This guy would sit in close and take the best of what the opponent had to dish out…just because he didn’t want to go down. His fights aren’t alway pretty, in fact some are quite painful to watch…moreso because I relate to him because he’s a home-town guy. He’s drank at the same holes I have…He’s been in the same DD’s that I have. He’s walked the same streets as I have and taken the same buses. I’ve seen him take shots that hurt ME through the television and you could see it hurt him but he kept going, often times coming back in the later rounds to miraculously finish his opponents. He’s been profiled in all the major magazines, been on Sportscenter and in highlight reels, there is even a movie being made about his life…but he’s still running in Lowell, dodging traffic and potholes while he runs.
I want his drive and his tenacity. He’s from the same place I am and if he can do what he’s done then there must be some part of me that’s been influenced by the same things he’s been influenced by. I can’t express the pride I felt when I saw him fight, or when I drive by him while he’s running. It’s too be the Highland Tap is closed because I sure would like to buy him a drink.
Micky, thanks for being a role model. I’m proud of you! If I can buy you a drink please let me know! Keep running and keep swinging!
As a side note, Arturo Gatti was killed by his wife over the weekend, which I didn’t realize until last night, after I saw Micky running. Some people say that Gatti was the perfect foil for Micky and those fights helped both fighter’s careers. R.I.P. Arturo.