The sad tale of boxer Dicky Eklund has been well-chronicled on screens both big and small. One of the more interesting plot devices in the recent Hollywood film The Fighter is that the HBO documentary High on Crack Street shapes part of the movie's storyline. The video above includes some choice segments from the documentary, which follows Eklund and other drug users as they battle addiction. It's a raw inside look at people breaking the law and their lives by getting high in front of a camera. That HBO got this kind of access is amazing. That Eklund, as it turns out, isn't as far removed from his old life as Mark Wahlberg would like you to believe is jarring.
Eklund started smoking crack while he was still boxing professionally. High on Crack Street shows him getting weightless with scurrilous characters, being busted for all manner of felonious behavior, going to jail, getting bailed out, hitting the rock again, then going to prison, which is where the documentary ends. Because Hollywood likes happy endings, however, The Fighter ends on a high note as Eklund gets out of prison, sober and reformed. Which is how he appeared at the Academy Awards the other night, tuxedo-clad and beaming, as Christian Bale told a billion people to go to Eklund's website. Soon after, nearly 10,000 people went to Eklund's site and crashed it.
In truth, though, it's not all good pub for Eklund. As the March issue of Men's Journal reveals, Eklund's nose for trouble has remained as acute as ever:
The recent real life of the three-time Golden Gloves winner is, in fact, shockingly vivid. Dicky has been arrested more than 66 times, at least several times in the past decade, where the movie of his life leaves off. In the past four years alone, he has been arrested for cocaine possession and a string of assaults, including a charge of attempted murder. He was questioned in other crimes as well. In May 2006, Dicky was involved in a homicide that took place outside Captain John's, a bar just down the street from where his life story would be filmed months later. A 29-year-old patron was punched once in the face, hit his head on the pavement, and died. Dicky says the victim was throwing a punch at him when his nephew intervened. In the end, John "Jackie" Morrell, the 25-year-old son of Dicky's sister Donna, confessed to the beating and served 11 months in prison. "The cops want me for that," he says. "Cops said I threw the shot. With my record I could have got 25 to life. I didn't do it. He confessed to it. My nephew, the one that killed the guy, goes, ‘Dicky, they still think it's you.' "
Video above by Emma Carmichael
The full documentary: