Three-weight world champion Johnny Tapia (59-5-2) was pronounced dead yesterday after being found in his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico by a member of his family at around 7:45pm.
The 45 year-old, who won a version of the world title five times in a 66-fight career, had a history or drug and alcohol abuse and police at this time are not treating the death as suspicious.
Tapia won his first world title in 1995 as a super-flyweight, defending it numerous times before unifying the division in 1997 and eventually moving up to claim belts at bantamweight and featherweight.
The fighter, whose nickname was ‘Mi Vida Loca’ (My crazy life) last fought in June, scoring an eight-round decision victory over Mauricio Pastrana and will be fondly remembered a one of boxing’s colourful characters of recent years.
Tapia was WBA Bantanweight Champion in 1998.