Monday, April 5, 2010

Rocky Lockridge The Ring Man

Amateur career
Lockridge started boxing as an amateur out of the Tacoma Boys Club. He was one of four world champions to originate from Tacoma: Freddie Steele, Leo Randolph, and Johnny Bumphus were the others. His highlights as an amateur include:

* 1977 National AAU Bantamweight Champion, stopping David Douglas of the U.S. Army in the 2nd round of the final.
* 1978 National Golden Gloves Champion in Bantamweight Class
* 1978 Runner Up in National AAU Championships in Bantamweight Class, losing to Jackie Beard in Biloxi, MS
* Defeated in Quarterfinals of World Amateur Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia by Fazlija Sacirovic of Yugoslavia (3-2)

Professional career

Rocky mainly fought in the Seattle, Washington area, then in various New Jersey communities in his early pre-title days. He had two cracks at the WBA featherweight title, both against Eusebio Pedroza, one in 1980 and the other in 1983. Both times, however, he would come up short by close decisions. His only other loss at that time was between those two fights - an August 1981 loss by TKO 2 to Juan LaPorte. Then, in February 1984, Lockridge needed just over one minute - and exactly one punch - to dismantle WBA junior lightweight champion Roger Mayweather and finally win a title. Lockridge defended his title twice, with TKO's of Tae Jin Moon and Kamel Bou Ali, before going to Puerto Rico in May 1985 and fighting a tough 15 rounds with former two-time champion and hometown hero Wilfredo Gómez. It was Gómez, though, who won the decision, and with it the title. Lockridge continued to fight, though, losing a 12-round majority nod to Julio César Chávez in 1986 for Chavez' WBC 130-lb. title, yet received a shot at the junior lightweight title in the third major boxing organization - the IBF - in August 1987. He battered defender Barry Michael into submission and after eight rounds, Rocky was again a champ. Two defenses followed - a TKO of Johnny DeLaRosa and a decision over Harold Knight - before Lockridge went to Sacramento to fight hometown boy Tony Lopez in July 1988. It was a tough fight, but Lopez was victorious by decision and became the new champ. Lockridge would then challenge Lopez in a rematch eight months later, but again would come up short via decision. Lockridge then would fight some more, but then would call it quits sometime in the early 1990s. Upon retiring, Lockridge held a 44-9 record with 36 knockouts. He was managed by Dan and Lou Duva, and was a friend of Johnny Bumphus, a junior welterweight champion. Lockridge is an inductee of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.

Personal life

In the early 80s, Lockridge and his wife Carolyn moved to Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey, where his twin sons were born in 1984. After retiring from boxing, they moved back to Tacoma in 1991. However, he and his wife separated and he moved to Camden, New Jersey in 1993. He has battled drug and alcohol addiction for the past two decades; as of June 2009 he was homeless in Camden.[1] He is living off of government welfare and frequents many of the homeless shelters in the city. He is the subject of an episode of A&E's Intervention