ALBUQUERQUE, May 28 (UPI) -- Johnny Tapia, a five-time world boxing champion, has died in Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Journal reported Monday. He was 45.
Tapia died Sunday, a source close to the family said.
Albuquerque police spokesman Robert Gibbs said police were called to Tapia's house about 7:45 p.m. by a family member who found a body there.
Tapia had struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, the Journal said.
Gibbs said the death did not appear suspicious.
The Office of the Medical Investigator will determine the official cause of death after an autopsy.
"To me, he was the most giving person that I know," said Hector Munoz, an Albuquerque professional boxer being trained by Tapia. "I'm just blessed that he did work my corner and that he trained me. He was a great guy, just unbelievable as a trainer, too."
The Journal said between 1990-1993, Tapia was in and out of jail as he battled cocaine and alcohol.
He won the first of five world titles in 1994, defeating Henry Martinez for the WBO junior bantamweight title.
A judge ordered Tapia to attend a drug rehabilitation program in 1995 after an alleged domestic assault incident.
In 2003, Tapia was in a coma for three days and spent several months in a California rehab center.
He was hospitalized in 2007 for an apparent cocaine overdose.
Tapia announced his retirement last year after beating Mauricio Pastrana by decision.
|Additional Sports News Stories|
PITTSBURGH, May 23 (UPI) --Tight end Heath Miller, at a Pittsburgh Steelers' organized team activity, said he has does not know when he will play again.
LONDON, May 23 (UPI) --U.S. rocker Jon Bon Jovi is advising 19-year-old pop star Justin Bieber to respect his fans if he wants to have a long and successful career.
NASHVILLE, May 23 (UPI) --NASA says the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a new twist on the Ring Nebula, a cosmic object so iconic it's a popular illustration for astronomy books.
HONOLULU, May 23 (UPI) --A high school friend of U.S. President Barack Obama has released pictures of the head of state as a 17-year-old on his way to prom in Hawaii.