Lem Satterfield

Showtime tribute to honor Tapia


Former five-belt, three-division titlewinner Johnny Tapia, who died late last month, will be the subject of a tribute on Showtime on Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The tribute to Tapia, who appeared on Showtime nine times, will air prior to the network’s clash between former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz and Josesito Lopez at The Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Tapia, 45, was found dead inside of his Albuquerque, N.M., home on May 27, according to Albuquerque Police, the Associated Press and a report by local television station KOB.

Tapia compiled a mark of 59-5-2, with 30 knockouts, earned major world titles in the junior bantamweight, bantamweight and featherweight divisions, and won his last four fights — two of them by knockout — culminating with an eight-round decision over Mauricio Pastrana in June of 2011.

A survivor of a tough upbringing in Albuquerque’s Wells Park neighborhood, Tapia was known for his spirited performances as well as his struggles with drugs, suicide attempts and arrests.

Tapia’s father was reportedly murdered before he was born and his mother was murdered when he was a small child, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents as he struggled with depression throughout much of his life.

Tapia was the subject of 2010 autobiography, “Mi Vida Loca,” or, “My Crazy Life.”

Click here for a Johnny Tapia Showtime interview



Photoy by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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