ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It is a shocking insult to the memory of a local legend. Vandals attacked the grave of native son and world boxing champion Johnny Tapia, who died in 2012.
KRQE News 13 spoke with Tapia’s widow, Teresa Tapia, on Wednesday afternoon, who said she couldn’t believe anyone would do this.
“Shocking because Johnny loves New Mexico and I know most people love him, so it was very disheartening that people would go and decide to trash his grave,” said Tapia.
There have been numerous reports of vandalism at San Jose De Armijo Cemetery near Coors and Arenal Southwest where Tapia is buried.
Tapia became an Albuquerque legend for his boxing feats. He won multiple world championships in three different weight classes. He overcame multiple bouts with addiction before dying of heart failure in 2012.
At his gravesite, pictures were burned and destroyed, numerous glass objects were smashed, and a picture of Tapia’s mother was stolen.
Tapia does not have any leads on who might have wanted to do this damage, but said people have already reached out on social media to show their support.