Rocky Lockridge, the first boxer to defeat Roger Mayweather has died at the age of 60. In retirement, Lockridge’s life became a tragedy as he fell into drug addiction and homelessness. TMZ was the first report on Lockridge’s passing on the morning of February 7, less than a month after his birthday. His cause of death was given as complications caused by a stroke.
Lockridge began his career in his native Tacoma, Washington, where he was born Ricky Lockridge, at the Tacoma Boys Club. As an amateur, Lockridge was National AAU Bantamweight Champion, National Golden Gloves runner-up in Bantamweight and made it to the quarterfinals of the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 1978. Lockridge relocated from Washington to Patterson, New Jersey, in 1978 to begin his professional career.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lockridge Was Receiving Hospice Care in the Days Leading Up to His Death
A family friend wrote on Twitter in the hours before Lockridge’s tragic passing that the former champ had been receiving hospice care at this home. At the time of his death, Lockridge had gone for ten days without any food or nutrients. That friend also said that on January 28, Lockridge had been pulled from life support and that his family was praying for a “peaceful passage.”
2. Lockridge’s Heartbreaking ‘Intervention’ Appearance Ended Up Becoming a Meme
Lockridge’s episode of “Intervention” aired in 2010 after which he said that his son’s love and the appearance helped to save his life. Lockridge would go on to receive treatment for his crack cocaine addiction. The appearance even inspired a meme, “Best Cry Ever,” after one of Lockridge’s sons told his father how much he loved him. The former WBA and IBF super featherweight champion began crying at the top of his lungs. The show featured Lockridge’s sons, Ricky and Lamar.
3. Lockridge Knocked Out Floyd Mayweather’s Uncle in 90 Seconds
Lockridge’s knockout of Roger Mayweather came on February 26, 1984, in Beaumont, Texas. It took Lockridge just over 90 seconds to knock out Floyd Mayweather’s uncle with a “blasting right-hander.” At the time, Lockridge was 24 and Mayweather was 22.
Prior to defeating Mayweather, Lockridge had lost out in championship bouts in 1980 and 1983 against Eusebio Pedroza for the WBA featherweight. Lockridge was quoted, Boxing News Online, after the Mayweather fight as saying, “I never thought I’d win this so quickly, but I’m really amazed by how much strength I have in this weight division.” Lockridge would go on to lose his title to Wilfredo Gomez in 1985. He followed that up with a loss to Julio Cesar Chavez in 1986. Lockridge finished his professional career with a record of 44-9 and 36 knockouts.
4. Before Appearing on ‘Intervention,’ Lockridge Had Been Living on the Streets of Camden, New Jersey, for 11 Years
At the time of Lockridge’s appearance on “Intervention” in 2010, he had been living on the streets of Camden, New Jersey for 11 years. NJ.com ran a feature on Lockridge’s troubles that quoted him as saying that out on the streets, he was known as “Champ” among the other members of the homeless community. The boxer is quoted in the article as saying, “Everybody kisses me, calls out, ‘Champ, Champ, Champ.’ I get joy being around them because they’re going through the struggle, same as me.”
Lockridge says that since he has been living on the streets, he had become estranged from his ex-wife and kids. He told Lockridge, “I do quite a bit of drinkin’ and druggin’. Lockridge went on, “I’m bitter. I’m very bitter. I made some mistakes, a whole lot of mistakes, but they were beyond my imagination. The blow that was put upon me was harder to take than the blows, or any blow, for that matter, that I received in the fight game.” Initially, after retirement, Lockridge said he and his ex-wife, Carolyn, moved back to Tacoma with their children. In 1993, as their marriage fell apart, Lockridge moved back to Camden alone to continue his partying ways. NJ.com reports that in 1997, after numerous arrests for petty crime, Lockridge served over two years in prison on burglary charges.
5. Lockridge Went Viral in 2014 After He Punched a Man Outside of a Store
In 2014, a video of Lockridge punching a man outside of a store went viral. The less than minute long clip showed a man confronting Lockridge while a bystander can be heard saying, “Don’t go down there man… Champ, don’t do it man.” Lockridge gives the man a one-two jab, appearing to knock the man out cold. One comment on the above video reads, “Probably shouldn’t start a fight with someone called, “The Champ.” Lockridge next appeared in the news in 2016 when he was reported to have been in a serious condition in a New Jersey hospital.