* The movie has Ward being on a losing skid coming into the Mike Mungin fight in 1988. In reality, Ward was 18-1 and on a four fight winning streak heading into the Mungin fight. Ward's four fight losing streak mentioned in the movie actually took place in 1990-1991.
* The movie makes a big deal out of Ward being outweighed by 20 pounds in his fight with Mungin. In real life, Ward weighed in at 136.5 and Mungin at 145, an 8.5 pound difference.
* The movie depicts Ward taking a terrible beating in the Mungin fight. In reality, the fight went the full ten rounds and Mungin won by very narrow decision: 96-93, 95-94, 95-94.
* The movie mentions a number of Ward opponents - Manetti, Collins and Hernandez - during one montage. In reality, Ward never fought anyone by those names.
* The movie makes it seem like Ward's upset of Alfonso Sanchez secured his title shot against Shea Neary. In reality, Ward beat Sanchez on April 12, 1997 and faced Neary on March 11, 2000, almost three years later and with six other fights in between (in which Ward went 4-2).
* The movie has Ward's career record as 30-7 with 20 KOs as he enters the ring to fight Neary. In reality, his record was 34-9 with 25 KOs. What did the filmmakers gain by making this change?
* The movie has Ward and Neary both weighing 146 pounds. Ward weighed in at 140, Neary at 139. Again, what was gained by making these changes?
* The movie has Ward's mom, Alice Ward, sitting at ringside with his girlfriend Charlene for the Neary fight. In reality, Ward's mom was not present at that fight.
* The movie has Ward being knocked down in round three of the Neary fight. In reality, Ward was never knocked down during the Neary fight.
* The movie has Ward hopelessly behind on the scorecards when he rallies to KO Neary in round eight. In reality, HBO's Harold Lederman had Neary ahead 67-66 entering the eighth round.
* Finally, and most frustratingly to fight fans, the movie makes a big deal out of Ward's fight with Neary being for the world title. In reality, it was for the WBU (World Boxing Union) title. No one considers the WBU beltholder to be the true world champion. Neary, who fought exclusively in the U.K. and Ireland, won the vacant WBU title by defeating Darryl Tyson, who "earned" his shot at the title by getting stopped by Oscar De La Hoya in two rounds.
Did you notice any other historical inaccuracies? If so, please share them with us!
Ward vs. Neary: Round Eight: See Ward KO Neary in their March 11, 2000 fight.
Dicky Eklund vs. Sugar Ray Leonard: Judge for yourself whether or not Eklund actually knocked Leonard down on July 18, 1978. Go to 10:00 toward the end of the video.
Micky vs. Marky: The Same Fight Twice: Scenes from The Fighter spliced side-by-side with footage from the actual Ward-Neary fight. Update: Video no longer available due to copyright issues.