Ricky “Rocky” Lockridge: One Last Round
By Jason Petock, DoghouseBoxing (April 13, 2010)  
It was August 1978, at the Seattle Center Arena in Seattle, Washington, and Rocky Lockridge (44-9-0) was making his professional debut in the ring against Tony Reed (2-12-1). Whereas Reed did not have the best record he did possess experience. Yet that experience would not serve him well for the young Lockridge blew him out of the water, forcing Reed to quit towards the end of the 2nd round. This would become a common occurrence in Rocky Lockridge fights, where TKOs and KOs would be the soup of the day for his opponents, and the young fighter would amass a slew of victories over top ranked competition and Champion caliber pugilists during his respective career. His accomplishments in the ring were vast and legendary. Lockridge defeated Gerald Hayes (17-12-3) for the USA New Jersey State Featherweight Title at Giant's Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on September 18, 1979, after only having 7 professional fights under his belt. Bear in mind that of these seven early bouts, Rocky won 2 by TKO, 4 by KO, and had one victory on PTS in 6 rounds.

Lockridge would continue to knock out the competition over the years, and come to a point in his career where he would eventually face off against Roger “Black Mamba”Mayweather (59-13-0), who at the time sported a record of (17-0), for the WBA Super Featherweight Title on February 26, 1984. Mayweather was a fearsome competitor and had just come off of a KO victory in the 1st round against Benedicto Villablanca (30-7-0), back in August of 1983. The crowd was in feverish anticipation of the title bout, with few expecting Lockridge to defeat the crafty and deftly skilled Mayweather. But with all the power and might he had within him, “Rocky” Lockridge blasted through Roger Mayweather in the 1st round, after a tentative first opening moments, with a vicious right hand that floored Mayweather and put Lockridge in the history books once more. The Champ would continue on winning titles over time and gaining numerous victories repeatedly, until he met his most formidable foe, one so powerful that he could not beat this opponent no matter how hard he tried. This competitor would hit “Rocky” harder than any punch he had ever felt, and the effects he had from this fight were long lasting and twice as painful.

Addiction is the force that knocked Ricky Lockridge down for the count. No punch did that. No other boxer in the ring took as much from him as this most damaging adversary, the very drugs and alcohol that took a once heralded Champion of men, and reduced him to being homeless and destitute. But all was not lost however.

After living homeless on the hardened streets of New Jersey, and panhandling, “Rocky” Lockridge got that second chance he needed after 10 years, in the form of a reality televsion show called “Intervention,” where his friends and family stepped up to the plate and asked Lockridge to go to treatment. “Rocky” agreed, and after treatment checked himself out to live with a sober friend in Louisiana, regularly attending meetings and continuing to live a clean, productive life. Fighters like Ricky “Rocky” Lockridge need this second chance, the public support and opportunity to start anew and win that dignity and respect back that took him to Championships, victories, and a status that can never be taken away from him no matter what the odds become. Honor and respect are due to “Rocky” Lockridge, and for all the fighters like him who get knocked down in this harsh round called life, only to dig deep and find the courage and resolve to get back up again, over and over. No Champion should ever have to suffer or live their existence as a forgotten memory or ghost of long times past. This article is for you Champ, God Bless you and keep you always.

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