million dollar baby.
alright... here's the story. short form.
Back when Juli was a boxer, she had a trainer. His name is Dub Huntley. Dub had a best friend, who was an old white guy named Jerry Boyd. Jerry Boyd was a writer, it turns out, and he wrote under the pen-name FX Toole.
FX Toole (aka Jerry Boyd) published a book of short stories called "Rope Burns" which contained a story called "Million Dollar Baby" about a poor lady from the Ozarks who gets a late start in boxing and becomes a world-class contender in the fight game.
When Jerry Boyd (and/or FX Toole... whichever you like) met Juli, he believed her to be the human incarnation of this character he created (except for the fact that Juli is not a woman of limited prospect who's only hope is the fight game) however, Juli WAS a country girl, a latecomer to the fight game, and definitely had champion potential (in her trainers professional opinion).
When the short story was optioned for film rights, Jerry sent all of Juli's fight tapes, along with info about her, to the producers of the film. They saw it, they liked it, they wanted a meeting.
Due to a series of dubious universal signals, Juli didn't go to the meeting with the producer, and gladly passed up the opportunity to get sucked into the Hollywood Shuffle. Jerry died of a heart attack (which he had a LOT of in his final years) about a month later.
2 years later... Juli is retired with sore legs and a bum shoulder, and Hillary Swank is doing a damn disturbing Juli impersonation (according to everyone that knows Juli's fights and has seen the movie) in a film that will probably win an Academy Award. Weird.
Juli just got interviewed by Sports Illustrated. Turns out that Dub Huntley spilled the beans about the character being based on Juli.
The good news is... Juli got out of the fight game undefeated, with sore legs and a bum shoulder. Anyone who's read the book or seen the movie can tell you that it could've been a lot worse.
Neither Dub or Juli have actually seeeeeeeeeeeeen the film yet, for a variety of reasons. Namely, Juli finds it depressing that she can't box anymore, and disturbing that the girl looks so much like her, and Dub misses his friend, Jerry Boyd.