Born Herbert Lewis Hardwick on May 2, 1914 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He turned pro in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.
He soon relocated to New Haven, CT after being discovered by future state Senator Harry Durant, who sponsored his move to the Northeast in 1932. He gained valuable experience sparring with the likes of future featherweight champion Petey Sarron. Around this time, he reportedly took the name Cocoa Kid as tribute to the great Cuban Hall of Famer Kid Chocolate and soon caught the fistic world’s attention. In 1933 the 18-year-old’s full skill set was on display when he scored an upset win (W 10) over former featherweight champion Louis Kaplan. In 1935 he defeated Frankie Britt for the New England welterweight and middleweight titles and, the next year, met Holman Williams in the first of an incredible 13-fight rivalry. From 1936 to 1945, Kid defeated Williams eight times, lost three and drew twice. A veteran of over 240 pro fights, Kid scored wins over Eddie Booker, Steve Mamakos, Chalky Wright, Jack Chase and drew with Charley Burley. He also met Hall of Famers Battling Battalino, Lou Ambers and Archie Moore. At nearly six feet tall, the slick boxing Kid owned a solid left jab and damaging right cross. In 1948 he retired after nearly two decades in the ring. Despite being ranked in the top ten by The Ring at lightweight, welterweight and middleweight during his fighting days, Kid never fought for a title.
He died at the VA Hospital in Chicago in 1966.
Born: May 2, 1914