Ward is the first inductee without
significant Connecticut ties to get into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame.
But on May 18, 2002 at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Ward took part in one of the most acclaimed bouts in boxing history against the late Arturo Gatti. Ward, who retired with a 38-13 record, fought a heartpounding, 10-round affair with Gatti that was later called the 2002 Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine.
Round 9 of that fight was called the “Round of the Century” by esteemed trainer Emanuel Steward, who was doing color commentary for HBO that memorable night. Ring Magazine would name that round, in which both men were nearly knocked out, the Round of the Year.
Ward won that bout by majority decision, but Gatti would win both rematches. Ward fought many topshelf opponents, including Zab Judah, who once said that Ward hit as hard to the body as any fighter he’s ever faced.
Ward, 44, hails from Lowell, Mass., but has been a supporter of New England and Connecticut boxing functions since retiring after the third Gatti fight in June, 2003. Ward has ties with another 2010 inductee — F. Mac Buckley.
“As the first non-Connecticut person, it’s a privilege to go into the Hall of Fame,” Ward said. “I remember having to take on some of F. Mac Buckley’s fighters in the amateurs. I always hoped I’d meet them in the finals and not before because they were always tough fights.”
Ward knows about toughness. He exhibited it in every bout he ever fought.