Micky Ward’s story in and out of the boxing ring is well known, especially in the Boston area. His new book, A Warrior’s Heart, details Ward’s life before and after the acclaimed movie “The Fighter” was released, including the revelation that Ward was molested as a child. Bill Littlefield shares his thoughts on the new book.
Bill’s thoughts on A Warrior’s Heart:
Micky Ward’s book arrived in the office recently. A Warrior’s Heart, subtitled “The True Story of Life Before and Beyond ‘The Fighter,'” was written with journalist Joe Layden. It includes a forward by Mark Wahlberg, who played Ward in “The Fighter,” and a blurb from Melissa Leo, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Ward’s mother.
All this suggests that if it hadn’t been for the movie, perhaps there wouldn’t have been a book. That would have been a shame, because Micky Ward is a good storyteller with an attractive inclination toward self-deprecation. When I profiled Ward for Only A Game in February 2011, I almost couldn’t use his story about how he’d attempted in vain to explain to his half brother, Dicky Eklund, that nobody was going to confuse Eklund’s proposed cameo in the movie with the fellow playing the role. That was because my laughter almost drowned out Micky’s story.
I am not a boxing fan. But I’d never deny that lots of the most powerful stories set in sports have been set in boxing… also some of the funniest, though there is nothing remotely funny about the damage boxing inevitably inflicts on the fighters.
There are surprises in A Warrior’s Heart, including the dust jacket’s promise of the revelation of Ward’s “darkest secret, which he has never revealed until now.” There are also enough four-letter words (or, more accurately, variations on a particular four-letter word which run to seven and 13 letters, respectively) so that A Warrior’s Heart probably won’t make the elementary school library shelves, even in Lowell.