Screen goes twelve rounds with Mark Wahlberg (sort of) at Bethnal Green’s York Hall.


Seems I’ve become Screen’s go-to guy for sports-related film events which is how I found myself in the cavernous surroundings of Bethnal Green’s York Hall for the official DVD launch of The Fighter last night.

With the bar the obvious first port of call, I soon found myself subject to a seemingly endless stream of lovely ladies in boxing gowns serving miniature pizzas and burgers – it’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it – although one did eventually assume I was on a diet as I had the misfortune to turn down two successive plates from her.

Well-oiled and well fed, it was time to take my ringside seat for the screening where I was greeted by the not-unwelcome presence of a goodie bag from the event sponsors. While it was really only notable for the bizarre combo of razors (customised by the sponsors) and beef jerky (hello, tenuous film link), it did at least give me the opportunity to try the latter for the first time; verdict = probably never again.

It was then revealed that there was to be a special announcement before the film commenced and with excitable rumours circulating the stands of the appearance of none other than he of Jordan fame, Alex Reid, hopes were high. Turned out it was instead former British, Commonwealth and European lightweight and IBO light-welterweight title holder Billy Schwer (probably a better choice in my opinion).

In amidst all these freebies, it was easy to forget that I was here for the film and with its excellent soundtrack and even better performances it didn’t disappoint. The clever positioning of the screens above the ring helped to give it an extra edge, especially in the climactic fight scenes where you could almost smell the sweat and blood as Micky Ward and Shea Neary traded blows…or maybe that was just the food sweat from the jerky/pizza one-two punch.

And as I made my way out of York Hall after a thoroughly entertaining night, I started to think that maybe, just maybe, my dream of a hockey-related Mighty Ducks screening could still be realised. If only…