One of boxing’s most beloved boxer of all-time, “Irish” Micky Ward, and the Irishman best known for knocking out legendary Mike Tyson into retirement, Kevin “The Clones Colossus” McBride, have been selected as honorary team captains, respectively, of Team USA and Team Ireland for the first leg of the three-city 2018 USA vs. Ireland Northeast Boxing Tour.
The tour commences Monday, March 12, at the newly renovated Royale Entertainment Complex in Boston’s famed theater district. The Boston stop, which is being presented by Budweiser, have general admission tickets for $20.00 and a limited amount of $30.00 reserved tickets on sale and are available to purchase online here.
Ward, 52, is the pride of Lowell, Massachusetts, where he is a living legend. A three-time New England Golden Gloves champion as an amateur boxer, Ward fought professionally between 1985-2003, registering a 38-13 (27 KOs) record as a junior welterweight throughout his pro career. He is best known for his epic trilogy with the late Arturo Gatti, in which he became the first fighter with double-digit losses to earn a $1-million purse (twice).
An all-action, crowed-pleasing fighter, Ward was involved in three Fight of the Year honors, the first and third of the Gatti trilogy, along with a memorable match with Emanuel Augustus. Ward was the winner in two (first Gatti and Augustus) of those classic fights.
Boston-native Mark Wahlberg portrayed Ward in, The Fighter, a movie about Micky’s life that won two Academy Awards.
“To be honorary captain of Team USA means a lot to me,” Ward said. “It’s great having elite amateur boxing back in Boston with the national teams from the United States and Ireland. It’s especially exciting for me as an Irish-American.”
The 44-year-old McBride was born in Clones, Ireland. He was a member of the 1992 Ireland Olympic Boxing Team at the age of 19, competing in the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Two years earlier, he represented Ireland at the European Championships and one of his teammates was Billy Walsh, Team USA’s current head coach of Team USA and former chief trainer for Team Ireland.
Like other Irish boxers, McBride came to the United States to enhance his professional career, landing in the predominately Irish neighborhood of Dorchester, a working-class section Boston, back in 1999. The 6′ 6″, 285-pound McBride started training in Brockton, MA with Goody Petronelli, who had trained Marvelous Marvin Hagler, and later Packy Collins, the brother of another Petronelli-trained fighter, world champion Stevie Collins.
McBride fought professionally between 1992-2011, retiring with a 35-10-1 (29 KOs), highlighted by his shocking sixth-round knockout of Tyson in 2005, driving the “Baddest Man on the Planet” into ring retirement.
“I feel good about being honorary captain of Team Ireland,” remarked the still thickly Irish-brogue McBride, who still lives with his family in Dorchester. “I’m honored to be carrying the Irish flag for these fighters. I’m not sure how many of them remember me as the man who beat Tyson. I know some of the Irish coaches and I still support boxing in Ireland as well as America. I just love boxing. And it’s always a pleasure to be with my friend, Micky Ward. He’s a good lad.”
The USA vs. Ireland Northeast Boxing Tour will continue March 15 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., concluding March 21 at The Manchester Downtown Hotel in New Hampshire.
All the duals will begin at 7:00 p.m. EST and tickets will be made available for purchase in the coming weeks. Each city will showcase up to 12 bouts, which will all be live streamed, free of charge, on USA Boxing’s website (www.usaboxing.org).
Tentatively headlining Team USA’s roster in the Boston dual s 2017 World Championship bronze medalist Troy Isley (Alexandria, VA). Four-time 2017 international gold medalist Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, TX), 2016 Youth World Champion and 2017 Elite Continental Championships silver medalist, Delante Johnson (Cleveland, OH), and 2016 Youth World Championship bronze medalist and 2017 USA Boxing Super Heavyweight National Champion, Richard Torrez (Tulare, CA).
Full team rosters for each city will be released closer to the start of the tour.
USA vs. Ireland Schedule
March 12: Royale Entertainment Complex, Boston, Mass.
March 15: MassMutual Center, Springfield, Mass.
March 21: The Manchester Downtown Hotel, Manchester, N.H.
All boxers and bouts are subject to change.