Johnny Tapia was found dead in his Albuquerque home Sunday according to a police report. No known cause of death was given.
Authorities were called to the house at about 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, spokesman Robert Gibbs said. The death didn't appear to be suspicious, he said. The body is believed to be Tapia’s, but police could not say with certainty that it was.
Tapia was the ultimate hard luck, underdog story in boxing. He had numerous run ins with the law and fought depression and his cocaine demons for most of his boxing career. Somehow he overcame them to win five championships in three weight classes, winning the WBA bantamweight title, the IBF and WBO junior bantamweight titles and the IBF featherweight belt.
Despite his troubles outside the ring he was one of the more exciting boxers of the 1990s. He last fought in June, outpointing Mauricio Pastrana in an eight-round decision. He finished with a 59-5-2 record.
An autopsy will be performed within the next few days.