The Fighter is a true story based on the life of two brothers growing up in a large family in Lowell, MA in the 1980s. The two boys live with their parents, and seven sisters, in a working class neighborhood. Dickey is the oldest brother of the two; he learned he had a talent for boxing when he was just twelve years old. Years later, he was given the opportunity to fight Sugar Ray Leonard, and actually knocked him down, making him the hero and “Pride of Lowell”. Rather than continue as a talented boxer, however, Dickey discovers crack cocaine instead, and his life spirals out of control. He dreams about making a comeback someday, but it is too late for him to do so, and he is unwilling or unable to handle his addiction.
While waiting for his “second chance” for a comeback, he trains his younger brother, Mickey, also a talented boxer. Because of boxing, the two become very close in spite of Dickey’s addition to drugs. Mickey is unable to let go of his relationship with his brother, who has been an inspiration to him. Although the odds are against Mickey, he wins the welterweight championship with the help of his brother, as well as his girlfriend Charlene, who tries to save him from his “helpful” family who is dragging him down.
Importance of family is a major theme of this film. Alice, the mother of the family, is also the manager for Mickey (and Dickey) and chooses the fights he will take. She still favors her son, Dickey, and is unable to face the reality that he is addicted to drugs and will never succeed at a boxing career again. Mickey feels he can’t succeed without Dickey’s help. His family is also very important to him; and he is important to them as they money he wins in fights supports the family. Mickey realizes that although his mother (and family), tries their best, he is not succeeding in furthering his career in the right direction. Charlene, who loves and cares about Mickey, also realizes this. She convinces Mickey to...