Based on the story of Micky Ward, a fledgling boxer who tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled older boxing brother and get his own shot at greatness.
The Fighter is a drama about boxer “Irish” Micky Ward’s unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky, a boxer-turned-trainer on the verge of being KO’d by drugs and crime.
Known as the “Pride of Lowell (Massachusetts)”, Dicky Eklund Jr.’s primary claim to fame is his 1978 boxing match with Sugar Ray Leonard, where Eklund knocked down Leonard, who eventually won the match. In 1996, Eklund, now a crack addict, is in front of the cameras as an HBO film crew is making a documentary about him, the focus he believes (falsely) to be his boxing comeback at close to age 40. For the past ten years, he has also acted as one of the two trainers for his decade younger half brother, Micky Ward, who is known primarily as a brawler used by other boxers as a stepping stone to better boxers. Both their careers are managed by their domineering mother Alice Ward who believes it better to keep it all in the family. Because of his crack addiction, Dicky is unreliable. A move by Dicky and Alice at one of Micky’s fights makes Micky come to the realization that his boxing career is being stalled and perhaps even under-minded by the two, who are only looking out for themselves. This stance is fostered by Micky’s new girlfriend, college drop-out and now local bartender Charlene Fleming. As Micky tries boxing life without Dicky and Alice – much to their anger – he has to figure out where they fit into his life, especially as they do not get along with Charlene, if at all. These decisions become all the more important as Micky moves up the ranks and is given a shot at the world welterweight championship.
The film, The Fighter, is based on a true story about the struggles of younger brother, Micky Ward, trying to live up to older brother’s boxing legacy. Dicky Eklund, Micky Ward’s older brother, was a boxing champion who became famous for knocking out Sugar Ray Leonard in a heart pounding, 1978, boxing match, at which Dicky eventually. The movie depicts the events that transpired after Dicky Eklund’s success in 1996. Now, Eklund is long gone from his glory days; though, many of his die-hard fans would rather not believe so, especially his mother, Alice Ward. He has transformed into a crack addict with felonies of distribution and consumption of drugs and prostitution. Dicky Eklund remains Micky’s boxing trainer despite his unreliability. Alice Ward has responsibility of managing her son, Micky Ward’s, current boxing career as he strives to create his own success. Her main concerns are keeping business within the family while spoiling and ignoring Dicky through his drug problems. After a family blowout, realization from Micky’s girlfriend, Charlene Fleming, and repeated failures in the ring, Micky discovers that his family is not in his best interest as a boxer. He begins seeking management and training from other professionals. In the meantime, Dicky finally goes to jail after a street fight with the police. While on the road to recovery, Micky’s boxing career is also going through a turning point as he defeats more and more opponents in the ring. After reconciliation with Micky, Charlene, and the rest of the family, Dicky becomes Micky’s trainer again for his biggest fight so far in his career. Micky wins by a knockout in the eighth round to become champion of the world light welterweight boxing title.