Richard Eklund Jr., more popular as Dicky Eklund, is an American former professional boxer who competed in the welterweight division. Known as the ‘Pride of Lowell’, he is a former New England Welterweight Champion. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, he had a fighting career that lasted for ten years, after which he became a trainer for his brother, Micky Ward, who is a former WBU Champion. The Oscar-winning film ‘The Fighter’, which was directed by David O. Russell, was centered on the lives of the brothers. Eklund was portrayed by the famed actor Christian Bale, who won an Academy Award for his performance. The film also earned critical acclaim. A biography titled ‘The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward’ has been published about his brother’s life; it talks a lot about Eklund’s life and career as well. Currently Eklund works as a boxing coach and a personal trainer in New England. He is a motivational speaker as well.
Dicky Eklund had won 194 out of 200 bouts during his amateur boxing career. His professional boxing career began in August 1975. His debut match was against Joe DeFayette, which he lost by 6-round decision. However, he won the next ten fights straight, beating opponents such as Doug Romano, Mike Michaud and Carlos Garcia. He had an impressive victory against renowned boxer Rufus Miller in 1976.
His fight against Sugar Ray Leonard, which was held at the Hynes Memorial Auditorium in Boston in July 1978, can be regarded as the most notable fight in his entire career. The fight was shown in the film ‘The Fighter’. Leonard eventually won the fight by unanimous decision.
Eklund’s fastest victory was when he knocked out C.J. Faison in the first round in a match held in Montreal, Canada, in February 1981. He also knocked out Canada’s Allan Clarke in 9 rounds according to the 1983 Ring Record Book. He won the New England Welterweight title in October 1983, after defeating James Lucas. A rematch was held after two years, in which Eklund defeated Lucas once again. This was also the last fight in Eklund’s career. His professional career, which lasted from 1975 to 1985, included 19 wins and ten losses.
After the end of his fighting career, he became a trainer to Micky Ward, his half-brother. He served as his full-time trainer from 1985 to 1991. Ward eventually won the WBU Light Welterweight Title in 2000.
The 2010 American Oscar-winning biographical sports drama film ‘The Fighter,’ which was directed by David O. Russell, was based upon the lives and career of Eklund and his brother Ward. Eklund was portrayed by Christian Bale; a role which won Bale the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Bale thanked Eklund as well as Ward during his Oscar acceptance speech. The film was a huge commercial success as well.
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Dicky Eklund was born on 9th May 1957, in Lowell, Massachusetts to Alice Eklund-Ward and Richard Eklund Sr. Details about his early life and education are not known to the media. He has two sons, Dicky Jr. and Tommy, and a daughter named Kerry.