from The Santa Fe New Mexican

Boxing legend Johnny Tapia found dead

Will Webber | The New Mexican

Mi Vida Loca. 

The motto Johnny Tapia lived by will undoubtedly become his lasting legacy now that his crazy life has come to an end.

The five-time boxing world champion was found dead in his home Sunday night. He was 45 years old.

Albuquerque police were dispatched to the Tapia residence Sunday evening and found a body inside.

A family friend who was at the Tapia residence Sunday night confirmed the body was indeed Tapia’s. No further information was immediately available.

One of the most endearing and well-known sports figures in New Mexico history, Tapia’s life was rooted in tragedy and hardship.

It was also highlighted by his remarkable talent inside the boxing ring. He burst onto the scene in the early 1980s as an amateur. He quickly rose through the ranks, winning his first professional championship belt in 1990.

That same year, he tested positive for cocaine and was suspended from the sport.

Flamboyant and outgoing, he was a fan favorite despite his penchant for self-destructive behavior outside the ring.

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