LOWELL — Micky Ward is Lowell through and through.
He knows the difference between the North Common and the South Common. He knows Fort Hill and Christian Hill stand on opposites sides of the Merrimack River.
Even after the 2010 film “The Fighter” made him a household name across the globe, the 53-year-old Ward continues to call the Mill City home.
But nowhere did Ward cement his reputation as a ring warrior more than in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he fought 22 times as a professional. By comparison, he had five pro fights in Lowell.
For his exploits, Ward will be inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame during festivities June 21-23.
“It was my second home, basically,” he said. “It’s going to be a good weekend. I have a lot of people coming down from Lowell.”
The third induction class is 19 members strong, highlighted by eight boxers. Joining Ward for induction will be Roberto Duran, Bernard Hopkins, Tim Witherspoon, Kevin Watts, Virgil Hill, Iran Barkley and John Brown.
Getting Ward to talk about his achievements is nearly impossible. But he said this honor is greatly appreciated.
“It really is. It makes you think you did something special,” he said. “It’s just good to be recognized.”
Being inducted with Duran, in particular, was special for Ward, who won the WBU light welterweight title in 2000.
“I loved the way he fought,” Ward said.
Ward won his first nine fights in Atlantic City and 20 of his first 28 pro fights were along the famous boardwalk.
Ward’s last two fights were also in Atlantic City. Both were against Arturo Gatti. Both were losses. And both were legendary.
Gatti won both by decision and they are considered among the greatest fights of all time. Ward called it quits after his third fight with Gatti, a June 7, 2003 bout which had fans screaming from beginning to end.
A man of few words, Ward laughed when asked if he would hire someone to write his induction speech.
“It’ll come right from the heart. I’ll just let it go,” he said.