ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A big-time celebrity is backing the documentary about Albuquerque-native and boxing world champion Johnny Tapia.
Rapper 50 Cent has acquired the rights to the documentary. The news comes a little more than a week after the one-year anniversary of Tapia's death.
Tapia, the five-time world champion from Albuquerque, struggled with drug addiction and trauma after his mother was raped and murdered when he was 8-years-old.
His story is told in a documentary that director Eddie Alcazar says 50 Cent relates to.
"50 Cent's mother was also murdered, and he grew up in this kind of project area as well," Alcazar says.
In one of his videos online, 50 Cent also talks about his connection to boxing after launching his own boxing promotions company.
"Boxing is very similar to rap," he says. "It's the instincts. It's the training. It's the discipline that's involved with it, the absolute focus that's necessary for you to win."
He saw the Tapia documentary a month ago. Now, he and boxing promoter Lou DiBella acquired the rights to it.
It is big boost for the film as its creators still search for distributors.
"Here we are a year later, and instead of people forgetting, we are going on to new levels," says Tapia's wife, Teresa.
She says she is excited about the collaboration and says she hopes to meet 50 Cent at the documentary's premiere in Los Angeles next week.
The film's creators say they originally were just interviewing Tapia as research for a feature film on his life. Those interviews turned into a documentary when Tapia died at the age of 45.
Teresa says she thinks her husband knew all along he was saying goodbye.
"There are key words through the whole documentary where he says, ‘I've had a good life. It's been nice.' It's almost like him looking back at his life through his eyes," Teresa says.
A date hasn't been set, but there are plans in the works to have an Albuquerque premiere of the documentary, called simply "Tapia."
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