At the age of 12, Rourke won his first boxing match as an 118-pound bantamweight, defeating Javier Villanueva.Some of his early matches were fought as Andre Rourke.
on September 16, 1952, in Schenectady, New York, the son of Annette (Cameron) and Phillip Andre Rourke.
His father was of Irish and German descent, and his mother was of French-Canadian, English, and German ancestry. A year later, his mother married Eugene Addis, a Miami Beach police officer, and moved to Miami Shores, Florida.
After graduating from Horace Mann Junior High School, Rourke's family moved to a house located on 47th Street and Prairie Avenue in Miami Beach.
In 1969 Rourke attended Miami Beach Senior High School, where he played second-string first baseman under coach Skip Berkman.
He also acted in a school play, "The Serpent," directed by legendary "Teacher To The Stars" Jay W. In 1971 he graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School, and after working for a short time as a bus boy at the famed Forge Restaurant on Miami Beach, Rourke moved back to New York to seek out a career in acting.
Rourke's teenage years were more aimed toward sports more than acting.
He took up self-defense training at the Boys Club of Miami.
It was there he learned boxing skills and decided on an amateur career.
Rodriguez was the number one-rated middleweight boxer in the world and was training for his match with world champion Nino Benvenuti.
Rourke claims to have received a concussion in this sparring match.
In 1971, at the Florida Golden Gloves, Rourke received another concussion from a boxing match. In 1972 Rourke knocked out Ron Robinson in 18 seconds and John Carver in 39 seconds. 20, 1973, Rourke knocked out 'Sherman "Big Train"' Bergman' in 31 seconds.