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Rocky Lockridge. This shouldn’t happen

By Stevie Ocallaghan: It’s quite ironic that with the Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight coming up on September 14th, I just happened to remember a story about a terrific fighter who fought by the name of Rocky Lockridge.

Rocky, born Rick, is an ex-WBA and IBF super featherweight world champ, and by his own admission made a lot of terrible choices in life after boxing, and in my mind some of boxing let Rocky down as well.

Rocky made his pro debut in 1978 and amassed 16 straight wins earning him a fight against the legendary Panama native Eusebio Pedroza losing a close split decision. 4 wins later he got another title shot against the Puerto Rican Juan Laporte but got stopped in two. After another close loss to Pedroza he got a crack at undefeated WBA champ Roger Mayweather stopping him in the first.

Over the next four years he had 10 wins and only 2 close defeats to legends Wilfredo Gomez and Julio Cesar Chavez. Rocky became a 2 time champion after retiring British fighter Barry Michael.

Rocky was a champ at a time when there where many tremendous fighters! But bad choices and without any real guidance his life spiraled out of control. Alcohol, drugs, there was no end to it. Rocky lost his wife, his family, his home and all his money, everything he ever had was gone.

Living in squalor and begging for money, surely this is no way for anybody to live let alone a guy who was a hero to many.

You have to ask yourself where the promoters and such like, guys who made a lot of money off the back of Rockys skills were when he really needed them.

A few years ago Rocky had a stroke and ended up using a stick to walk, but then came across footage of an American TV program called Intervention. I hope that with the help of his family he can pull through.

The lasting memory for me is of that first round KO of the undefeated defending champ in Mayweather. A guy like Rocky would be a great help in any gym across America, even if is to pass on story’s and help the young fighters avoid making the same mistakes he made.

Hopefully we will see Rocky back in boxing one day. Boxing can only get better when somebody like Rocky Lockridge is involved.

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