While watching the Gator Bowl and now Rose Bowl on TV and occasionally checking Breaking News on the Sun site and the home page of boston.com, I’ve been reading “Irish Thunder’ by Bob Halloran, a vivid account of Micky Ward’s struggles and success. Parts of the book describing life in Lowell in the 1970s and 80s read like today’s tragic reality on Grand Street—the crime and social corrosion that degrades and destroys lives. There’s a lot of pain in the Ward story, and the book is grittier than the film—pain that’s absorbed by some and handed out to others, not only boxers. There’s plenty about the business side of the fight game, too, and the type of characters who work in the spotlight and shadows of a profession that falls between sport and entertainment. “Hard Life and Times” is a fitting subtitle. I’ve encountered some familiar names that I didn’t expect to find—I’m 2/3rds into the book.