The Massachusetts mill town of Lowell was hard hit by the collapse of industries such as textile manufacturing, which had once allowed it to flourish. With this year's release of The Fighter, good times could return to the city, provided it markets itself as a breeding ground for dedicated young fighters. Making a business out of the bellicose might not be everyone's idea of urban renewal, but Lowell's clearly got the street cred. Micky Ward, the boxer who inspired the movie, trained relentlessly at Lowell's West End Gym and capped off his career with a $3M payout for a series of fights with Arturo Gatti. Today, Ward trains younger fighters in the Lowell suburb of Chelmsford and drives trucks for the film industry—and not just for movies about his life. An Oscar win for The Fighter on Sunday could also help drive tourism to this damn-near-forgotten corner of New England. So we decided to provide budding boxers with some Lowell properties perfect for training, that might just pay off in the post-Oscar spotlight.
Outfitted in a bare-bones style suitable for dedicated brawlers, this 1889 house (above) hails from Lowell's industrial heyday. These days, in these parts, four bedrooms of solid old-school craftsmanship runs just $209K. Not to mention its just around the corner from the West End Gym for easy access and no excuses. And just past the gym is the cemetery, perfect for motivational training runs and montages.
? If the role of boxing parent is more your speed—and such parents exist—this Craftsman-style house, just around the corner from the one used for Micky's mothers-slash-manager in the film, is just the place. Put down $309K, assemble your band of loyal, rough-and-ready daughters, and start raising that boy up right: to fight!
? Confusing the opposition would be the order of the day in this pink-hued Victorian awash in lace doilies and floral patterns. Luckily, the $399K asking price includes a tank toilet a la The Godfather to ensure guests are reminded their host is ready for battle. Reverse psychology, go!
? If this whole hand-to-hand combat phase really pays off, might we suggest an upgrade to this 1890 stone mansion, Frederick Faulkner Castle, where the next Pride of Lowell can survey his domain. Equipped with eight bedrooms, one of the most expensive houses in town is asking $975K, but sticking around after you've made good is the Ward way.
· The Real Fighter Micky Ward talks about the movie and Mark Wahlberg [Daily Mirror]
· 22 Agawam Street [Zillow]
· 116 Highland St [Zillow]
· 43 Wannalancit St [Zillow]
· 86 Belmont Ave [Zillow]