Johnny Tapia, a prizefighter who won world titles in three weight classes in a chaotic life that included jail, struggles with mental illness, suicide attempts and five times being declared clinically dead as a result of drug overdoses, was found dead at his home in Albuquerque on Sunday. He was 45.
The Albuquerque police said an autopsy would be done in the next few days. Foul play is not suspected.
Tapia, who was 5 feet 6 inches, said the raw fury he displayed in winning his world titles came from the horrific memory of seeing his mother being kidnapped and murdered when he was 8. He said he saw every opponent as his mother’s killer.
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