Charlene Fleming Is Micky Ward's Wife – He Stopped Using Drugs to Build a Life with Her
Charlene Fleming Is Micky Ward’s Wife – He Stopped Using Drugs to Build a Life with Her
Charlene Fleming may be chiefly known as the wife of one of Hollywood’s most prominent retired boxers, Micky Ward, but she was an accomplished athlete in her own right. She married Ward a few years following his retirement from the ring and has supported him in many philanthropic endeavors ever since.
Charlene Fleming never took much of an interest in the man who would become her husband after he pestered her repeatedly at Captain John’s, the bar at which she worked. Micky Ward was a shy guy, and their conversations never went beyond a few greetings and the incessant invitation to spend time together.
Eventually, he won her over, though not without ruining the first date or his chance with her. Their relationship wasn’t perfect, but they remained together despite the storms and ultimatums it weathered. Following his retirement from boxing, the couple married and adopted four furry companions.
Micky “The Fighter” Ward is pictured as he arrives with his wife, Charlene Fleming, at Sports LA’s “K.O. Cancer” to receive “The Hope Award” from “City of Hope” for his inspirational community work at The Beverly Hilton hotel on April 6, 2011, in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
Charlene Fleming Was a High-Jumper
Fleming had been a 5’9″ high jumper when she and Ward met, with even more medals than the former heavyweight champion, as noted in his 2010 memoir “Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward.” She was 23 years old and had just graduated from the University of Rhode Island after studying through a track-and-field scholarship.
Afterward, she returned home to Lowell, Massachusetts, where she started working at Captain John’s as a bartender while seeking other employment. The bar was a local favorite for Ward and his family. However, as of now, it’s unknown what she studied or what her current occupation might be.
Former world champ boxer Micky “The Fighter” Ward poses as he arrives at Sports LA’s “K.O. Cancer” to receive “The Hope Award” from “City of Hope” for his inspirational community work at The Beverly Hilton hotel on April 6, 2011, in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
Micky Ward Ruined First Date with Charlene Fleming but Got a Second Chance
Ward, the former boxing pro who debuted his career at 19, was born on October 4, 1965. He and Fleming have a ten-year age gap, which was part of why he was initially reluctant to pursue the former high jumper. His father had told him about Fleming and encouraged him to try and woo her, as he recalled:
“This went on for a while, my father dropping hints, telling me about how he’d been at Captain John’s the night before, bragging on his son to the cute new bartender.”
Micky Ward is pictured as he waves to fans during the parade at the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction Weekend of Champions events on June 14, 2015, in Canastota, New York | Source: Getty Images
Ward had known Fleming’s brother before he introduced himself to her. Though their first encounter was brief and somewhat dry, Ward was instantly smitten with her beauty. It was the first of many where he would nurse one drink for hours as he explained:
“I’d sit there, practically mute, sipping on a soda, for a couple of hours, while Charlene worked the bar with all the charm and energy of a pro.”
Micky Ward is pictured as he promotes “Warrior’s Heart” at Bookends on May 29, 2012, in Ridgewood, New Jersey | Source: Getty Images
Ward noted how he and Fleming had polar opposite personalities, as she was “outspoken and funny” while he was “laid-back and shy.” At some point, he discovered she found him “annoying.” This discovery initially stumped him, but he eventually realized that perhaps she found him “creepy” — and he didn’t blame her.
After much chasing and convincing, Fleming finally agreed to go on a date with Ward; however, it didn’t go so smoothly. He’d taken her to a club filled with sketchy company, and she did not approve. It took a long while for her to agree to a second date, where he took her out for dinner and returned to his place afterward, and their romance finally began.
Charlene Fleming Doesn’t Have Children, but She Is Excellent in Her Relationship with Micky’s Daughter
Not long before Ward met Fleming, he’d relapsed, going back to using cocaine. She hadn’t known, but once, she caught him and flatly walked out. Their separation lasted a couple of months, at the end of which she gave him an ultimatum. She told him that if he didn’t stop, that would be the permanent end of their relationship.
Ward heeded the warning and remained sober from then onwards. Still, their troubles were far from over, as they drank heavily and fought quite often. Moreover, Ward’s family also never took a liking to Fleming, whom they insulted and degraded at every chance available. Ironically, his brother, Dicky Eklund, liked her, but she was skeptical about him.
Micky Ward is pictured with his wife, Charlene Fleming, as he accepts an award onstage during Spike TV’s 5th annual 2011 “Guys Choice” Awards at Sony Pictures Studios on June 4, 2011, in Culver City, California | Source: Getty Images
In time, the tensions died down, and they could all be cordial with one another. Although Fleming supported Ward in his career, she didn’t like the idea of him fighting. The thought of him indulging in the violent sport was anxiety-inducing for her. She also cared little for the spotlight or the six to seven-digit income his matches brought.
Then, perhaps much to her relief, Ward retired in 2003. The couple married two years later, adopted four dogs, and bought a tanning salon and a training center. Fleming’s relationship with Ward’s daughter, Kasie, was initially rocky, but the two eventually became good friends. They all lived together in the same home at the time of the memoir’s publication.
Ward also devoted much of his time to philanthropy. His life and love story with Fleming was depicted in the 2010 multi-nominated film “The Fighter,” by a star-studded cast including Amy Adams (who played Fleming), Mark Wahlberg (who played Ward), and Christian Bale (who played Eklund).