Russell knew that getting the boxing scenes in the film right would be pivotal to its success. He was aware that over-glamourising or over-choreographing the fights would make them too unbelievable.
Opting to shoot in a pared-back minimal documentary style, Russell and co manned the fighting scenes at the beginning of the shoot, and shot them all over just a couple of days.
Adding to the pathos of the experience, the fights were filmed at Arthur Ramalho's West End Gym, where the real Micky had once trained.
Did Wahlberg feel prepared after all that training? “I wanted the film to have some of the most realistic boxing ever seen on screen. That was my goal.
“After four and a half, well, three and a half years, I felt confident enough to go in there and be believable as a boxer who could possibly win the welterweight title,” he says.
“Had somebody said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to train four and a half years to make this movie,’ I would have said, ‘Absolutely not.’
"But the fact that I was just continuing to do it and never wanted to stop - because I figured if I stopped I would be giving up on the movie, and I never wanted to do that. It was certainly worth it in the end.” At last,
was in the can…