Saturday, November 05, 2016
Beltway Boxing Legend 'Rock' Payne Passes!
Beltway middleweight Gerry "Rock" Payne has passed away at the age of 47 years old. No word on the nature of his passing.
Mr. Payne, a native of Washington, DC, was an outstanding amateur in the mid-to-late eighties, becoming an alternate on the 1988 United States Olympic team. Mr. Payne made a unique pro debut on March 24, 1990 at the Frank Williams Activity Center at Coolidge High School in DC. Payne participated in a six-round debut bout, defeating Walter "Mad Dog" Green by decision. Green was 6-1 with three KO's at the time of the bout.
Payne's career moved slowly but steadily over eight bouts until legal issues took Payne away for the majority of 1993. Payne returned on April 1, 1994 in Alexandria, VA as a member of the vaunted "Hard Corps" boxing team alongside Derrell Coley, Reggie Green and Reuben Bell. Payne would later win an IBC Middleweight title on October 22, 1994 defeating Jeff Johnson by 12-round decision at the Washington Convention Center. Payne would lose his only bout in his final outing dropping a 10-round decision to Daniel Perez on December 13, 1994 in Albuquerque, NM. Payne's record was 13-1, five KO's.
This is a tough one for me, personally. Gerry "Rock" Payne is one of the reasons why I am in this business. Payne's pro debut was the first boxing main event bout I ever did blow-by-blow for. I always felt a bond with Gerry. He was a first-class guy that helped me professionally and personally. My deepest condolences to Rock's family and all of us who knew him.