NEW YORK, NY (Feb. 24, 2011) – “Irish” Micky Ward, more popular now than ever after the success of the Oscar-nominated movie about his life, The Fighter, has been invited by promoter Lou DiBella to be a special guest March 12 for the “Diamond Elite” event at the MGM Grand Arena at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
World Boxing Council (“WBC”) Emeritus and The Ring Magazine middleweight champion, 2010 Fighter of the Year Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs), takes on World Boxing Organization (“WBO”) junior middleweight champion, Sergiy “Razor” Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 KOs), in the 12-round main event for the vacant World Boxing Council Diamond middleweight title.
The chief supporting fight is “Celtic War,” pitting exciting middleweights Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs) of Ireland and Scotland’s Craig McEwan (19-0, 10 KOs), in a 10-round bout of ethnic rivalry with potential world title shot implications for the winner.
The Martinez vs. Dzinziruk and Lee vs. McEwan fights will be broadcast on HBO’s World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:30 pm ET / 7:30 pm PT.
Ward has many direct ties to the March 12 event. Here are the seven degrees of Micky Ward, in association with the “Diamond Elite” event, with quotes from the consensus 3-time Fight of the Year participant:
Lou DiBella: The last four fights of Ward’s career (2002-2003), including the famed Gatti-Ward trilogy, were by far his most lucrative with approximately $3-million in purse earnings. By no coincidence, Micky was promoted by DiBella Entertainment for the final four fights of his 18-year pro career. “Lou is a good guy and a man of his word. He promised to make me a lot of money and he did. And all we needed was a handshake deal.”
Sergio Martinez: The Boxing Writers Association of America (“BWAA”) will hold its annual awards dinner May 6 in Las Vegas. Martinez will receive its 2010 Fighter of the Year, named in honor of the great Sugar Ray Robinson, while Ward receives the 2011 James A. Farley Award for Honesty and Integrity in Boxing. “Sergio is a great fighter, one of the best in the world today. He’s also a good person.”
James “Buddy” McGirt: Ward got to know the former two-time world champion and 2002 Trainer of the Year, Buddy McGirt, up close and personal in 2002-2003 when McGirt trained Gatti for all three fights of their epic trilogy. “Buddy was a great trainer and great fighter himself. I’m still good friends with him today.” McGirt is Dzinziruk’s co-trainer.
Andy Lee: Besides the obvious “green” connection linking their Irish heritage, Ward was the color commentator for the PPV airing of Lee’s most dramatic knock-out on March 16, 2007, against former world champion Carl Daniels in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. “Andy is a good, stand-up boxer who has a lot of talent.”
Freddie Roach: Another BWAA recipient in May – third year in a row and fifth time overall as the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year – Freddie Roach, like Ward, is a Massachusetts native. Ward’s first amateur match at the age of seven was against Freddie’s younger brother, Joey. “I’ve known Freddie my whole life. I never fought Freddie because he’s older than me. I never really thought back then that Freddie would become the trainer he is today.”
Foxwoods: Although Ward never boxed in MGM Grand Arena at Foxwoods, he did fight four times in different venues at Foxwoods, winning three times against Steve Quinonez, Louis Veader and Mark Fernandez. Micky lost in the Bingo Hall to Antonio Diaz by 10-round decision on HBO. “I have great memories of fighting at Foxwoods. It’s still one of my favorite places for boxing.”
HBO: Micky fought six times on HBO (three times vs. Gatti, Jesse James Leija, Diaz and Shea Neary). “My experiences on HBO were excellent. HBO was really good for me. Everything was great, from Larry Merchant to Jim Lampley, who were MC’s at my retirement party, to everybody else at HBO.”
“Diamond Elite: Martinez vs. Dzinziruk” will be presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Banner Promotions. Lee vs. McEwan will be presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Golden Boy Promotions. Both bouts will be broadcast live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:30 pm ET / 7:30 pm PT.
Tickets for “Diamond Elite: Martinez vs. Dzinziruk,” are priced at $450, $250, $125, $75, and $50 and on sale through the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mgmatfoxwoods.com, by calling the MGM Grand at Foxwoods at 1-866-646-0609, or in person at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods box office.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV