"So many similarities, I mean there's so many struggles in my life and in my career and just to get this movie made, it's just very much like Micky's," said Wahlberg.
Wahlberg trained for nearly five years to play Ward.
"I always wanted to be Micky but there were times where I started to feel like, I'm not getting any younger, at some point is it right for me to go and just find somebody else to play this part?" Wahlberg said. "But I had trained so much. And Micky had such high expectations and expected so much of the person that was playing the role that I didn't think anybody else was going to take another four and half years out of their life to train and prepare in a way in which I thought they should to portray Micky and to be able to do the boxing in way other films hadn't."
"Every fight you saw, you saw the heart and the will and desire that this guy had. He put it out there every time," he added.
When asked to describe the film in one word, Wahlberg chose inspirational.
"This wasn't the kind of movie about how you looked in the mirror, it was about how you looked in the ring, as far as the skill level," said Wahlberg.
Christian Bale stars as Ward's older brother, Dickie Eklund, and Amy Adams plays Ward's love interest.
"The Fighter" opens in limited release this week and moves into more theaters on December 17.