“Manny Pacquiao, he’s a great fighter. He’s the best there is,” said Micky Ward Thursday morning at the end of our quick Q&A about the upcoming Paramount film “The Fighter,” which portrays his life and boxing career (Mark Wahlberg stars as Ward). “I gave De La Hoya a good chance against him, even Mayweather, I was giving Mayweather the edge in the beginning. Now I can’t go against him. He’s an amazing fighter.”
Ward met Pacquiao last year in Los Angeles. “He’s a great guy. I met him at Freddie Roach’s Wildcard Gym. He’s a helluva nice guy.” Ward said Pacquiao recognized him and they spoke briefly before Pacquiao was just starting his workout. (Pacquiao previously stated in his Biofile Ward is one of his favorite boxers and the Ward-Gatti trilogy is the best fight he’s ever see.)
Ward was at the gym to watch the Filippino legend prepare for his upcoming bout against Ricky Hatton. “I watched him train. He trains hard. He trains very hard. Hard hard. He is very disciplined, he trains so hard. Freddie is one of the best in the business. That kid trains hard. He loves it. He trains like an animal. There’s a lot of primadonnas in this game – he ain’t one of them.”
Ward also respects Mayweather. “Pacquiao and Mayweather are the two best. I hope they can work it out. It’s a shame they can’t make that fight.”
When asked what else stood out that day about observing Pacquiao, the Lowell, MA resident and former WBU Lightweight champ replied, “He’s very polite. He’s humble. He’s a real person. His head isn’t all Hollywood, like a big star. Some people walk around with their head up in the air like they’re better than you. Manny doesn’t do that. He’s a real person. And he has every right to do that with all that he’s accomplished. But he doesn’t do that. He’s a real good person, humble, just a real person.”
Ward says “The Fighter”, directed by David O. Russell, has completed filming and is now in the editing stage. The film’s release is expected this summer. Also starring in “The Fighter” will be Christian Bale who plays Ward’s half brother Dicky Eklund, Eminem, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.