Former Champion Rocky Lockridge Hospitalized – In a sport whose history is littered with tragic stories, it sometimes is easy to forget the one’s unfolding today. Former WBA and IBF 130 pound champion Rocky Lockridge is currently hospitalized in serious condition in New Jersey.
Lockridge’s boxing career ended in April of 1992 with an overall record of 44-9. He is best remembered for his first round knockout of Roger Mayweather to win the WBA super featherweight title back in February of 1984. He also fought memorable matches with Julio Cesar Chavez and Wilfredo Gomez to name a few. In 2000, the Tacoma, Washington native was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.
Lockridge’s story has surfaced every now and again in the years since his retirement. Lockridge started to battle drugs and alcohol in the 1980’s while still actively boxing. After his retirement, he moved back to Washington but he gravitated back to New Jersey after a divorce. He was arrested multiple times for burglary, and did more than two years in jail after a 1997 arrest. Upon his release with nowhere to go, Lockridge lived on the streets of Camden, New Jersey. In 2006, he had a stroke that left him needing a cane or a walker to get around.
Lockridge became a bit of a “youtube” sensation when a video surfaced of him knocking out a bully on a street corner. In 2010, the popular TV show “Intervention” exploited Lockridge, featuring his battle with drug addiction on an episode of the show. Lockridge’s breakdown on video went viral and the episode goes down as one of the most viewed in the show’s 11 year history.
Earlier this month, Panama’s Hilario Zapata was inducted into the Canastota, New York International Boxing Hall of Fame. Zapata was a former two division weight champion, and his story also includes more than a decade addicted and living on the streets of Panama. During the June induction ceremonies, Zapata emerged with several years of clean living under his belt. Perhaps some inspiration can be found in Zapata’s story.
Word of Lockridge’s current condition came via social media, on accounts dedicated to providing support for former parolees. The post details that the 57-year-old Lockridge is “in bad shape” as he awaits test results. Lockridge continues to be largely forgotten in the boxing world. Can Lockridge write an ending for himself similar to Zapata’s? Perhaps or perhaps not, but the man certainly deserves more respect than he is getting.
At the very least, if you are going to head to youtube to watch videos of Lockridge, watch his fights. The fight with Roger Mayweather has been viewed thousands of times and his fights with Juan LaPorte, Julio Cesar Chavez and Wilfredo Gomez are out there. Out of respect to the man and the sport of boxing, I’m going to put a self imposed ban on watching the “other” videos of Lockridge. I encourage all boxing fans to do the same.
Former Champion Rocky Lockridge Hospitalized