Troubled champion Tapia dies at age 45

May 29, 2012, Tuesday/ 16:58:00/ REUTERS

Five-time world boxing champion Johnny Tapia was found dead in his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home at the age of 45, officials said on Monday.

Tapia, who was as renowned for his cocaine use and traumatic childhood as he was for his boxing talent, was found dead late on Sunday night, police said. The cause of death was not yet known. Albuquerque police were called to Tapia’s house late Sunday, where they found the boxer unconscious, said Albuquerque Police spokesman Robert Gibbs. He later died. Brandishing a tattoo of his alias -- Mi Vida Loca, or “My Crazy Life” -- Tapia rose to prominence in the late 1980s, and eventually won five world boxing championships in three weight classes: super flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight. His final professional boxing record was 59 wins, five losses, and two draws.

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