History | May 27 2018

On This Day: Farewell, ‘Mi Vida Loca’ – Johnny Tapia, 1967-2012

Matt Christie looks back on the tragic life of Johnny Tapia – a great champion
Johnny Tapia
johnny-tapia  |  Chris Cozzone

THE death of Johnny Tapia at just 45 wasn’t a shock given what came before, but the inevitability of his demise doesn’t ease the sadness. The body of the great fighter, whose private life was disabled by horrific trauma, substance addiction and misadventures, was found on Sunday, May 27, 2012 in his Albuquerque home. Authorities were called to the house at 7.45pm, and according to spokesman Robert Gibbs, there didn’t appear to be any suspicious circumstances.

Rarely has a nickname – “Mi Vida Loca” (my crazy life) – been more appropriate. Tapia claimed five world belts in three divisions, and at his peak his fistic artistry made him one of the sport’s finest. His achievements are incredible when you consider how his life began.

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