As a welterweight from the wrong side of the tracks, Irish-American Dicky Eklund is the pride of working class Lowell, Massachusetts. Living in his shadow is his half-brother and sparring partner Micky Ward. After fighting Sugar Ray Leonard, Eklund plunges into a nightmare of crack addiction, violence and prison. His family's hopes are crushed in the wake of Dicky's decline. Like a real life Rocky, Micky fights on his own terms and pulls his family out of despair with his meteoric rise in the ring. Freshly paroled Dicky finds redemption training his little brother, now known as "Irish" Micky Ward, for his Welterweight Championship bout with Shea Neary.