By Joe Dwinell
December 11, 2010
Dicky Eklund should be dead.
At least that’s what Boston Police Department Commissioner Edward F. Davis thought the night the Lowell welterweight came flying out a third-floor window during a drug bust at a crack den.
“He was indestructible,” said Davis, who once headed up the city’s narcotics unit.
Davis busted Eklund often in the 1980s while at the same time working the police detail at the Golden Gloves, where he admired Eklund’s half-brother “Irish” Micky Ward, who rose to fame in boxing circles.
That’s why Davis reserved a ticket days ago to see “The Fighter,” which hit theaters yesterday. It’s a movie that goes right to his Mill City roots.
“Lowell is emblematic of midsized cities with proud and not-so-proud traditions,” Davis told the Herald. “This movie may chronicle the latter.”
“The Fighter” stars Mark Wahlberg as Ward, Christian Bale as Eklund — in a performance already generating Oscar buzz — and a smoldering Amy Adams as a loyal and loving bawdy barmaid.
Davis said he also can’t wait to see a pal, Lowell Sgt. Mickey O’Keefe, who plays himself in the flick.
The police commissioner is not alone. Other Herald readers sharing memories of the boxing brothers said “The Fighter” is a slice of their life, too.
“I can’t wait for the movie to come out,” said Bill Wickman of Norwood, who saw Eklund knock down “Sugar” Ray Leonard in 1978 in Hynes Memorial Auditorium.
“I remember the crowd going wild when Leonard went to the canvas, but the match quickly shifted to domination by Leonard,” Wickman said. “I also remember looking around and noticing an individual standing alone behind me against the wall, arms crossed, just staring — waiting for his chance. It was Marvin Hagler.”
Eklund finished his career 19-10 before embarking upon a life of drugs and crime.
“When he was high, he was a dangerous guy,” Davis said of Eklund. “He was very respectful when he was sober.”