Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Tapia's widow thanks fans

29 May 2012, 10:43

 Los Angeles - The widow of five-time world boxing champion Johnny Tapia thanked his fans for their support on Monday, a day after he was found dead at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"Today our family grieves the loss of a husband, a father and a close friend," his widow Teresa said in a statement.

"With Johnny, the world has lost not just a Hall of Fame boxer but a special person, a fighter in life and in the ring.

"I am appreciative of all the support and condolences we've received and I thank Johnny's many friends and fans for standing by in this difficult time."

Albuquerque police were called to Tapia's house on Sunday evening by a family member who found him there.

Police spokesman Robert Gibbs told the Journal that the death did not appear to be suspicious and an autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Tapia, 45, was known for his battles with cross-town rival Danny Romero, Paulie Ayala and Marco Antonio Barrera.

He earned world titles in the super flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight divisions in a professional career that began in 1988.

But Tapia battled drug and alcohol problems throughout his career.

In 2007 he was hospitalised after an apparent cocaine overdose. While he was in hospital, two members of his family -- his brother-in-law and a nephew -- were killed in a road accident.

His struggles with addiction led to several brushes with the law and some time in jail, but it remained unclear on Monday if they caused his death.

"I know many people are waiting for news but as we await the results of the autopsy, I am not in a position to make any comment on what happened on Sunday," Teresa Tapia said.

"We will hold a public memorial service for Johnny to give everyone a chance to say good-bye."

Tapia was a favorite son of Albuquerque, where he rose to ring stardom despite his troubled early life.

In his autobiography, "Mi Vida Loca: The Crazy Life of Johnny Tapia," he wrote that his father was murdered before he was born and that his mother was murdered before his eyes when he was eight years old.

Teresa Tapia said the troubled fighter was also a generous and well loved friend of many.

"I know Johnny will be missed by everyone who ever met him," she said. "He was a special light in this world. He loved people so much, made friends with everyone so easily and kept those friends forever."

Tapia amassed a record of 59 wins, five losses and two draws with 30 knockouts.

His last fight was an eight-round unanimous decision over Mauricio Pastrana in Albuquerque in June 2011.


Tags boxing

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...