"S. I." Names "The Fighter" Top Sports Movie of Decade

By Michael Preston
|  Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010  |  Updated 4:00 AM CDT
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Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale

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Mark Wahlberg's new boxing film, The Fighter, hasn't even been widely released yet, but it's already landed a knockout blow.

The movie, based on the true-life story of welterweight fighter Mickey Ward, has been named the "Best Sports Movie of the Decade" by Sports Illustrated, reports People.

To honor the film, Wahlberg and co-star Christian Bale grace the front of the magazine's "Year in Sports Media" issue. The two Hollywood heavyweights are among the rare non-athletes who have ever landed on the cover of the publication in its 56-year history.

"As somebody who always dreamed of being a professional athlete, to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated is an amazing accomplishment," Wahlberg told People.

Both lead actors are in the running for big Hollywood prizes for their roles. Wahlberg received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Ward and Bale is generating best supporting actor buzz for his turn as Dickie Eklund, Ward's older half-brother and trainer.

Other movies that received mention in the issue are James Franco's 127 Hours, and Secretariat.

Selected Reading: People, Sports Illustrated, New York Daily News

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