Tapia brought the boxing world to Albuquerque, winning five world championships in three weight classes.
His death hit fans hard and many have been visiting his gym in Northeast Albuquerque Monday to pay tribute to the boxing legend.
On Sunday police were called to Tapia's home in Northwest Albuquerque where he was discovered dead. At this time police are not saying how he died, but say the circumstances were not considered suspicious.
Tapia has long struggled with a very public drug addiction, spending time in and out of jail on drug charges.
Early in his career he was banned from boxing for three and a half years because of his cocaine addiction, but he bounced back to become a world champion several times.
His biggest rival in the ring was fellow local Danny Romero.
Romero spoke to KRQE News 13 referring to Tapia's death as a loss of a legend and big hit to the boxing world.
"This is a horrible, horrible deal. It's bad, you know. All my condolences to all the extended family you know he has a lot of people that love him man and it's just... It's horrible on them," Romero said.
KRQE News 13 spoke to Tapia's uncle, Tony Padilla, who said his nephew looked to be in healthy shape just a few weeks ago.
"He was a legend to the future of our kids, he was always involved, he was always smiling," Padilla said.
Thieves broke into an Albuquerque fire station while the firefighters were off helping kids.
UNM athletics is rolling out a new points program to determine which fans get access to The Pit's best seats, postseason tickets and prime parking spots.
A recent Christmas Eve tradition that's become increasingly popular in Santa Fe has been shot down.
Police said a homeowner and his 11-year-old son stopped two burglars dead in their tracks. They walked in on the alleged heist, but weren't about to let the suspected thieves get away with it, and they got creative with the way they …
What happened to one of four local officers shot in a dramatic October chase now has the attention of city, county, and even state lawmakers as they discuss proposing a policy that would ensure she will be the last first responder to get …
Albuquerque police have now identified the suspect shot by officers on Sunday, and he's a man whose past includes at least one fight with police and several other violent incidents.