Two-time world champion Rocky Lockridge who suffered a stroke and battled substance abuse has died. Rocky was at one point homeless and a popular meme.
Former boxing champion Ricky “Rocky” Lockridge has died at the age of 60. His son and namesake confirmed his death to TMZ on Thursday morning.
"It is with great pain but a whole heart that I tell you family and friends that my father Ricky Lockridge aka Rocky Lockridge has passed away."
"All he wanted was to be in the comfort of his home with friends/ family. God has called him to walk through the gates of heaven."
Lockridge died of complications from a stroke which he suffered a while back. He was in the hospital for weeks before he passed.
A two-time world champion, Lockridge will best be remembered as the first boxer to beat Roger Mayweather. He knocked him out in the first 98 seconds of their match in 1984 earning him the WBA world super featherweight title. He held the title until 1985 when he lost to Wilfredo Gomez.
In 1987, the Tacoma native bagged the IBF super featherweight crown when he beat Barry Michael. The title was his until 1988.
His final match was on April 22, 1992 against Sharmba Mitchell who defeated him. Upon his retirement, Lockridge had a career record of 44-9-0 with 36 knockouts.
In the midst of his exemplary career as a boxer, Lockridge found himself trapped in the clutches of substance abuse which left him homeless. In 2009, he was living on the streets of Camden, New Jersey after suffering from a stroke three years earlier.
Lockridge confessed about his addiction to Star-Ledger at the time.
“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.”
In 2010, Lockridge appeared in the A&E series “Intervention” where he famously cried after an emotional talk with his son, Lamar. His meltdown would for years be featured in internet memes as the “best cry ever.”
The late boxer was a different “Rocky” in his younger days. Kathy Duva, CEO for Main Events described him to Star-Ledger as “a low-key person with an easygoing personality.” She added, “He was quiet, articulate, a wonderful guy.”
Lockridge turned 60 on January 10. Hi childhood friend Paul Brown revealed the boxer renewed his faith before his death and was a fighter until the end.
“He sought Christ and was a true fighter in his final days, he had a tremendous heart. I had talked to him on Jan. 10, that was his birthday, and he was struggling to speak. Doctors were in disbelief that he kept holding on from those strokes.”
Brown said Lockridge was ready to face his creator.
“I truly believe he wanted to go out on his own terms and he wanted to be at home and was ready to see the Lord.”
Meanwhile, another sports legend has died and left a dent in the world of baseball. Frank Robinson who is known as the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball passed away at the age of 83. Robinson was described as a trailblazer whose impact in baseball spanned generations. For more on his life and death, click here.