ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - "I've died and come back. It's been a lonely road and at the end of the tunnel there was not a shining light," Tapia says in the documentary, titled "Tapia."
The documentary premiered Saturday night at the Los Angeles Film Fest to a sold out crowd of hundreds, headlining as one of the main showings.
Producers used archive footage and Tapia's last interviews to make the documentary, which tells the story of his successful boxing career and a life nearly lost to depression and drug addiction.
"I tried to kill myself, so many times," Tapia says in the documentary.
Tapia died in 2012 due to heart problems. For those who knew him, the documentary is a story that should be told.
"He'd give you the shirt off his back," said Steve Garcia, a man who grew up and boxed alongside Tapia. Garcia knew Tapia for about three decades and says he inspired his daughter.
"He was so outgoing, I have a daughter that boxes and she followed him and he left a very big impression on him or her I should say. He just loved the kids, he was always positive with everybody, never negative," said Garcia.
He hopes the documentary brings a new respect for the famous boxer.
"To show them the person he really was, people got the wrong impression that he was on drugs, this and that, but he was darn good person, outgoing," said Garcia.
Saturday's premiere is the first time a crowd has seen the documentary.
Producers are hoping new financial backing from rapper 50 Cent will help launch the documentary to a worldwide audience.
There are no firm dates on when the film will come to New Mexico, but producers say they do intend to show it in the state.
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