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Dickie Ecklund (born January 1, 1958) is a former welterweight boxer from the mill city of Lowell, Massachusetts. He is known as "The Pride of Lowell". His most notable fight was on July 18, 1978 against Sugar Ray Leonard at the Hynes Memorial Auditorium in Boston, Massachusetts. He went the distance against Leonard sending him to the canvas, but lost the fight by decision. Eckland's fighting career spanned 10 years from 1975-1985, during which he compiled a professional career record of 19 wins, including 4 by knockout, and 10 losses.[1]

Eklund's fighting career ended in 1985, likely due to his addiction to crack cocaine. He was documented by HBO's America Undercover for a period of 18 months. The documentary, named High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell, followed Eklund and two other crack addicts in Lowell as their lives spiraled out of control. It ended with Eklund receiving a 10-15 year sentence for breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, kidnapping, masked armed robbery, and several other crimes. Many of Dickie Eklund's attempts at trying to quit crack for his son have failed.

Eklund's troubles with violence and drugs continued. He was arrested for crack possession in 2006 and again in 2009 for domestic assault and attempted murder. [2] Although the victim of the 2009 offense, Eklund's girlfriend, recanted her story, the case will still be prosecuted. [3]

Eklund is the half-brother of the notable fighter Micky Ward. After Eklund's fighting career ended, he became Ward's full-time trainer for 26 fights from Ward's professional debut in 1985 until his first retirement in 1991. Ward's biography, written by Bob Halloran and entitled Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward, discusses much of Ecklund's life and career.

The Fighter, a film slated to star Christian Bale as Eklund and Mark Wahlberg as younger brother Micky Ward is scheduled to begin filming in late 2009.[4] The film will chronicle the brothers growing up in Lowell and how Eklund pushed Ward back into the ring after his early retirement leading to three bouts with Arturo Gatti. Three of Ward's post-retirement fights were voted fight of the year by Ring Magazine. Eklund served as Ward's trainer until his retirement after his third fight with Gatti on June 7, 2003.

References

  1. ^ Dick Ecklund
  2. ^ Lowell Sun, January 4, 2008
  3. ^ Lowell Sun, January 6, 2008
  4. ^ The Fighter (2009)

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