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Johnny Tapia

Remember Johnny Tapia?

If we talk about Johnny Tapia, we are talking about a boxer who was WBO, IBF Super Flyweight world champion, WBA, WBO Bantamweight world champion and IBF Featherweight world champion. In his professional boxing career, Tapia defeated rivals such as John Michael Johnson, Rolando Bohol, Artur Johnson, Hugo Soto, Dani Romero, Rodolfo Blanco, Nana Konadu, Manuel Mantecas Medina, Frankie Archuleta, Cesar Soto among others. I also face boxers like Paulie Ayala and Marco Antonio Barrera. He had a difficult life, his father was killed before Johnny was born, Johnny's mother was kidnapped, raped and stabbed to death so Johnny was raised by his grandmother. Tapia lived a crazy life, he was suspended from boxing for 3 years in 1990 for testing positive for cocaine, he attempted suicide in 1999 with a drug overdose for which he was hospitalized. Tapia was found unconscious and not breathing in a hotel room early on the morning of March 12, 2007. Tapia was hospitalized in critical condition for an apparent cocaine overdose at Albuquerque Presbyterian Hospital. The next day, on the morning of March 13, Tapia's brother-in-law and nephew were killed in a car accident on US 550 near Bloomfield, New Mexico, apparently on their way to the hospital to visit Tapia. That same day, Tapia went from critical to serious condition. Tapia was scheduled to return on May 2, 2008 in El Paso, Texas, but withdrew due to contract disputes with promoter Ron Weathers. On February 11, 2009, Tapia was arrested in Albuquerque for a probation violation related to cocaine use. In 2010, at the age of 43, Tapia found out that his father was apparently alive. Jerry Padilla, whom Tapia already knew, was reportedly intrigued by the similarities in their mannerisms, and the two decided to take a DNA test, which proved they were father and son. After Tapia's death in 2012, his widow briefly married his alleged half-brother, Jeffrey Padilla, in 2014. However, she felt wrong that Padilla Sr. had "jokingly" mixed his DNA samples with Tapia's in 2010, obtaining a court order to compare a new, controlled sample with some of Tapia's tissue, proving in 2017 that they were not father and son. On May 27, 2012, Tapia was found dead in his Albuquerque home. He was 45 years old and died of heart failure. A hard life, a crazy life and a successful boxing career, that was Johnny Tapia.


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