05-28-2012, 01:35 AM #1
NM - Five-time world boxing champion Johnny Tapia dead at 45
This guy was a hell of a fighter. R.I.P. Johnny.
Police: Tapia found dead in home (Sports Illustrated / AP)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Police say five-time world boxing champion Johnny Tapia has been found dead by a family member at his home in Albuquerque, N.M.
The 45-year-old Tapia won five championships in three weight classes, winning the WBA bantamweight title, the IBF and WBO junior bantamweight titles and the IBF featherweight belt.
But his career also was marred by cocaine addiction, alcohol, depression and run-ins with the law.
Tapia last fought in June, defeating Mauricio Pastrana in an eight-round decision. He finished with a 59-5-2 record.
05-28-2012, 10:24 PM #2
Terrific Deadspin article:
Johnny Tapia Died, Died, Died, Died, Then Died, And Lived Hard In Between
If you were a fan of the sport of boxing he was the sort of boxer you always wanted to see beat the other fellow. Boxing makes people stand and yell because it is two people meeting to create a disaster for each other. People do not like to admit it but we all like to see safe disasters and feel a little more alive afterwards after our hearts pound and our stomachs dry out and our throats sand over. When a boxer like Johnny steps into the ring and we know he is fighting with his heart and guts and that he will give us all his courage then we yell like hell for that guy to survive to fight again. And maybe in the case of Johnny people knew that for all the hard punching he was safest in the ring where he was only fighting other men and not something worse.
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