Johnny Tapia, a five-time boxing champion whose turbulent career was marked by cocaine addiction, alcohol, depression and legal problems, has died.
He was 45. Authorities were called to his house in New Mexico at about 7:45 p.m. on Sunday. The death didn't appear to be suspicious, officials said.
Tapia won five titles in three weight classes, winning the WBA bantamweight title, the IBF and WBO junior bantamweight titles and the IBF featherweight belt.
He was regarded as the consummate underdog by his fans. The more trouble he found outside the ring, which was often, the more they rallied around him.
His life was also marked by tragedy - he was orphaned at 8, after his mother stabbed 26 times with a screwdriver and left to die - throughout.
In 2007, he was hospitalized after an apparent cocaine overdose. Several days later, his brother-in-law and his nephew were killed in car accident.
Tapia was banned from boxing for 3 1/2 years in the early '90s because of his cocaine addiction, but returned to win five titles from 1994-2002.
He last fought in June, outpointing Mauricio Pastrana in an eight-round decision. He finished with a 59-5-2 record over a long, tough career. R.I.P.