Fact vs. fiction in The Fighter

Senior Editor
01.06.11 23 Comments

I loved The Fighter, but as I wrote in my review, I thought the actual fight scenes were the weakest parts (NAWT GRITTY ENOUGH, TAWMMY.  I DON’T THINK THIS CAWKSUCKAH’S HISTAWRICKLY ACCURIT).  On that note, the folks at Fandor recently put together this little clip comparing fact with fiction in The Fighter, mainly through one fight in particular, Irish Micky Ward’s title fight with Shea Neary. 

[OBVIOUSLY, DON’T READ THIS NEXT PART IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS {though I wouldn’t consider any of this very important to the plot}]

Most of the dramatic license is the kind of stuff you’d expect and fairly innocuous:

  • The movie shows Ward’s mother at the fight when she wasn’t (NAWT YOU)
  • Dicky’s corner advice to Micky was a lot less… “inspirational” than in the movie (GET IN CLOSAH, HE’S TEARIN YOU APAAHT!)
  • The TV’s showed the fight in widescreen, even though they weren’t in widescreen at the time
  • The movie shows Micky get knocked down, in reality he just got wobbled
  • The movie lists both fighters at 146 pounds, in reality Ward was 140, Neary 139. [My guess is they added some weight because Mark Wahlberg is much heavier than Ward, though it looks like he’s more like 180]

The most damning parts are actually where the video calls out the film for its use of tired boxing-movie clichés — just one of the reasons I think it would’ve been better if they’d just used the actual fight footage.  The strangest discrepancy of all has to be that the movie gets Ward’s record wrong, listing him at 30-7-0 with 20 KOs at the time of the fight, when he was actually 35-9-0 with 25 KOs.  I can’t imagine what dramatic purpose that would’ve served, so it must’ve been simple research error.  OH LOOKIT YOU WIT YA FANCY FACKIN FIGYAHS, IS THIS A HAAHVAHD BAAH?   Anyway, it seems like none of the dramatic license really added all that much to the movie.  If they really wanted to spice it up, they should’ve had Ward walk in to “Feel the Vibration” and yell “POW!” after the knockout. 

Feel it, feel it.


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