Born: January 30, 1959
Towns: Paterson & Camden
Rick Lockridge was born January 30, 1959 in Tacoma, where he developed into a top amateur at the local Boys Club. He was also a talented entertainer, fronting for an R&B band in local nightclubs. After winning the 1977 AAU National Bantamweight title, and finishing as runner-up in 1978, the boxer everyone called “Rocky” moved east to Paterson at the age of 19 and turned pro with Main Events, which was run by Lou Duva and his family. He was trained by George Benton. Rocky’s early pro fights took place at the Ice World arena in Totowa.
Rocky fought as a Featherweight, winning his first 16 fights to earn a shot at the WBA title. He lost to Eusebio Pedroza in October of 1980 in a split decision. Two and half years later, Rocky tried to take the Featherweight crown from Pedroza again, but lost once more, this time in a unanimous decision.
Rocky decided to move up to Super Featherweight class. In his first 1984 fight, he knocked out undefeated Roger Mayweather (uncle of Roy Mayweather) in the first round to win the WBA championship. It was a one-punch knockout.
Rocky defended his title three times before surrendering his belt to Wilfredo Gomez in 1985. In 1987, he won the IBF World Super Featherweight title, beating Australian Barry Michael, but then surrendered it in 1988 against Tony Lopez. It was a bloody slugfest that was named by Ring Magazine as Fight of the Year. Rocky got a rematch with Lopez but lost again. Both fights were unanimous decisions.
Rocky drifted away from the fight game after his next bout. He appeared to be prepared for life after boxing. He was bright and inquisitive, and had taken college courses during his fighting career. He had a wife and two kids and a lovely home in Mount Laurel. But even with his two titles, he never made the kind of money that would last a lifetime. And toward the end of his career, he and friends went through a lot of cash partying. The family retreated to Tacoma, but Rocky and his wife broke up soon after.
Stressed financially, Rocky moved to Camden in 1992 and tried a comeback at age 33. He lost both of his fights, finishing with a lifetime record of 44–9. He found work as a laborer but continued to go through money faster than he could make it, thanks to continuing drug and alcohol issues. Two burglary arrests landed him in prison for 27 months and upon his release in 1999, Rocky was homeless. He suffered a stroke in his late-40s
Rocky was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000. He was featured in a 2010 episode of A&E’s Intervention. In 2013, he showed up on YouTube when he was video’d knocking out a man who accosted him outside of a convenience store. Rocky was still working to say clean and sober six years later when he was admitted to the hospital in serious condition, having returned to the streets.