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Johnny Tapia

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Tapia won belts at featherweight, junior and world bantamweight. He held a record of 53 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws, with 28 wins by knockout. Tapia had many tattoos done around his body, and his tattoos are prominent when he is fighting. One of them says Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life), the nickname he has adopted over the last few years. He wrote an autobiography by that title. At age eight he witnessed the kidnapping of his own mother. She was tied up and taken away by a man. She was raped, and her body found next to a road a few days later. Tapia had problems dealing with that and started using drugs when he was a teenager. But he also started a career in boxing, and became an Olympic hopeful. While he was still addicted to drugs, Tapia built a record of 150 wins and 12 losses as an amateur. His opponents included Arthur Johnson, Richard Duran and Todd Foster during this period. His professional career began on March 28, 1988, when he beat Efren Chavez by a knockout in round four in Irvine, California. He won eight fights that year, five by knockout, of which four were in the first round. But his career took an enormous step backwards when he was found with drugs, and this time he was suspended from boxing for three years. He had to start over from scratch when he was finally able to return in 1994. On February 18 of 1995, Tapia was given a shot at WBO World Junior Bantamweight champion Jose Rafael Sosa. Tapia became a world champion in his own hometown by defeating Sosa on a twelve round decision. He retained the title with a knockout in eight rounds of Ricardo Vargas and a decision in twelve against former amateur nemesis Arthur Johnson. After two more wins, he gave Willy Salazar a title shot, knocking him out in nine rounds. In 1999, Tapia suffered his first loss, losing a twelve round decision and the WBA world title belt to Paulie Ayala in what Ring Magazine called its fight of the year. That year also, he tried to commit suicide with a drug overdose, and required hospitalization. Back quickly after that and his first defeat, he was given a chance at the WBO world title belt, and he became a two time World Bantamweight champion. In 2002, Tapia traveled to London, England, for his first professional fight abroad. There, he knocked out Eduardo Enrique Alvarez in the first round. Tapia came back on the night of October 4, 2003, defeating Carlos Contreras by ten round unanimous decision at Albuquerque. Tapia was arrested in Bullhead City, Arizona the night of January 10, 2003 for resisting arrest along with his cousin, who is wanted on charges in New Mexico. He was not sent to jail immediately, but now he faces new charges for resisting arrest. After his arrest, he returned home to Las Vegas, and there, he slipped onto the floor, crashing his head against the concrete and having to be hospitalized in critical condition. He was in stable condition at first, but he recuperated and was later released. On December 21 of that year, Tapia mistook a medicine that contained codeine, to which he is allergic, with Tylenol. He took the wrong medicine, and had to spend one night hospitalized as a result. Tapia's last fight was in 2011 at the Hard Rock Casino near Albuquerque. He was found dead in his home May 27, 2012 at age 45.  See full bio on IMDb »

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Johnny Tapia Death -- Wife Suspects Illegal Drug Use

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Former boxing champ Johnny Tapia's wife believes her husband used illegal narcotics in the week before his death -- this according to law enforcement.TMZ has obtained a copy of the police… READ MORE >

Johnny Tapia -- Autopsy Scheduled in Boxer's Death

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Authorities will perform an autopsy on Johnny Tapia today -- two days after the former boxing champ was mysteriously found dead in his home ... TMZ has learned.Law enforcement sources tell us the… READ MORE >

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Johnny Tapia Dead -- Boxer Dies at 45

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Dead at 45

Boxer Johnny Tapia was found dead Sunday in New Mexico, this according to local police.Family members say Albuquerque police were summoned to Tapia's house at 7:45 PM Sunday by a family member who… READ MORE >

- 690 days ago

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