PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - January 30, 2015  
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y John DiSanto


North Philadelphia bantamweight of the 1970s, Baby Kid Chocolate passed away Friday, January 30th. He was 57 years old.

Chocolate was born Ronnie Walker in 1957, and once told Nigel Collins that he took his ring name because he believed he was a dead ringer for the original "Kid", the great Cuban Bon Bon, Eligio Sardinias. Whatever physical similarities the two may have shared, their boxing styles were quite different.

Philly's Kid Chocolate was a tiny-Joe Frazier or mini-Curtis Parker. Five-feet, five-inches, and 118 pounds of forward-moving energy. He went 25-3 as an amateur, and then started his professional career with a sparkling 18-0, 8 KOs, winning streak. Along the way, Chocolate beat Billy Wade, Carlos Zayas, James Martinez, Francisco Cruz, Tony Rocha and Socrates Batoto, and was a popular attraction at the Spectrum and Blue Horizon. 

Baby Kid Chocolate was a solid puncher with a no-nonsense fighting style that was extremely fan friendly. By the beginning of 1977, he appeared to be a contender in the making. However, Chocolate had the misfortune of coming up during one of the bantamweight division's richest eras. Late in 1977, Chocolate ran into the great Lupe Pintor, and lost by KO for the first time.

The following year, Chocolate collided with the finest bantamweight of his times, Joltin' Jeff Chandler, his cross-town Philly rival. The South Philly vs. North Philly clash took place at Upper Darby's 69th Street Forum with the USBA title at stake. Chandler emerged with the TKO victory, and went on win the world title the following year. Talk about bad timing!

Chocolate also faced Olympic Gold Medalist Leo Randolph and an undefeated Carmelo Negron during the final chapter of his career.

After ten years as a pro, Chocolate finished with a record of 19-7 with 8 KOs.

Details about his death and pending funeral services have not yet been released.




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - January 30, 2015