Updated: Sunday, 27 May 2012, 11:30 PM MDT
Published : Sunday, 27 May 2012, 11:30 PM MDT
Former World Champion Johnny Tapia has died. The legendary boxer was found dead at his Northwest Albuquerque home Sunday night. Tapia was 45 years old. Police are still investigating what caused his death. In life Tapia had a very public battle with drug addiction, alcohol abuse and depression. His boxing career was another story where Tapia was a huge success, pulling in five titles in three different weight classes. His good friend and former rival and World Champion Danny Romero Jr. said, "it's horrible. There are no words to describe it. New Mexico lost a very good guy." Another former World Champion, Paulie Ayala, said "if there was no Johnny Tapia there would be no Paulie Ayala." Ayala said he thanked Tapia for giving him an opportunity for the two times they shared the ring. Both fights were won by Ayala. Tapia stayed involved in boxing until his final days. He and his wife Teresa opened their own gym and promoted other fighters. They also managed the career of their son, Johnny Tapia Jr.