ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The hometown of the late boxer Johnny Tapia is set to honor the former champion with a statue at a community center that will also bare his name.
The city of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department are scheduled Saturday to unveil the statue at the Johnny Tapia Community Center at Wells Park. The area is where Tapia was raised by his grandparents.
His turbulent boxing career was marked by cocaine addiction, alcohol, depression and run-ins with the law.
Tapia died at his Albuquerque home in 2012. Investigators said there were no indications of a drug overdose or alcohol use but that the 45-year-old former fighter likely developed medical complications from past illegal drug use.
Tapia was orphaned at 8 when his mother was stabbed 26 times.