The boxing world was rocked by not one, but two devastating stories.
First, late Sunday night came word that former multiple time champion (in three different weight classes) Johnny Tapia was found dead at his home in Albuquerque, NM. He was 45.
Tapia had a rough life, some of which was out of his control and some of which wasn’t.
His father was murdered while his mother was pregnant with him. Then he was orphaned at just 8-years-old after his mother was kidnapped, raped, hanged, repeatedly stabbed, and left for dead. She died four days later in the hospital without regaining consciousness. It was after all this that he turned to boxing at the age of nine.
He also battled his own demons which usually manifested itself in the form of a cocaine addiction. One instance was in 2007 when he apparently, purposely, overdosed on cocaine and was hospitalized. Just days later his brother-in-law and nephew were on their way to see Tapia in the hospital and while on the way they were killed in an automobile accident.
Tapia had a stellar amateur career with two National Golden Gloves championships (1983 & 1985).
His pro career was just as impressive. He was at different times champion at 115 lbs, 118 lbs, and 126 lbs. Before losing his first fight to Paulie Ayala, Tapia had run his record to a sparkling 46-0-2, with 25 knockouts.
His two exciting fights with Paulie Ayala (their first bout in 1999 was Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year) and victory over rival Danny Romero were career highlights.
At least Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KO’s)emphatically signed his death warrant.
By slapping Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 KO’s)in the face during their “stare down”, Chisora all but guaranteed he will be KO’d. Chisora has made repeated claims of how he is going to knock out Vitali in their bout scheduled for tomorrow (Feb 18, Epix & EpixHD.com). Yet a much more accomplished fighter (and better power puncher) in Lennox Lewis all but hit him in the face with a sledgehammer and Vitali didn’t even get shaken.
Since the fight is tomorrow I’ll go ahead and throw my official prediction out there;
Chisora doesn’t have nearly enough experience, size, or punching power to do the damage necessary. Vitali will throw that thunderous jab and wait until Chisora opens himself up, allowing Vitali to exploit that opening and turn it into a barrage of unyielding power punches.
“I don’t know how in the world Paul Williams won the decision… It’s a joke. Paul Williams thought he lost the fight.” – HBO boxing announcer Bob Papa
I’m in shock still.
I watched a fight tonight that was an alright fight, although it was one-sided there was decent action, but clearly won by one particular fighter. This fighter won all but three rounds on my scorecard and two of them I could have seen going to the other guy too. It was a fight where one fighter clearly dominated.
It was a fight where the announcers were openly talking in round 11 about how the ref should stop the fight out of fear of the losing fighter having taken too much punishment for his own good.
As the 12th and final round ended and one fighter jumped and threw his hands up, clearly thinking he won the fight. As well he should. He fought the perfect game plan.