5-time boxing champ Tapia found dead

FIVE-TIME boxing champion Johnny Tapia was found dead Sunday night (Monday in Manila) inside his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was 45.

Authorities were called to the house at about 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, spokesman Robert Gibbs said, adding that the death didn’t appear to be suspicious.

Tapia won five championships in three weight classes, winning the WBA bantamweight title, the IBF and WBO junior bantamweight titles and the IBF featherweight belt.

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 on their way to Albuquerque to see the ailing boxer.

He knocked out Henry Martinez to win the WBO bantamweight title in 1994, and won four more championships over the next eight years.

He last fought in June, outpointing Mauricio Pastrana in an eight-round decision. He finished with a 59-5-2 record.

Gibbs said an autopsy will be performed in the next few days.


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