Tapia going into West Coast HOF, Diego Sanchez set to play him in movie

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The late five-time world boxing champion, Johnny Tapia, will be inducted into the West Coast Hall of Fame in Hollywood, California March 14, 2021. Tapia is one of 16 people that will be honored that night.

It will be the sixth Hall of Fame honor for the late fighter. “I think it’s well-earned and no one deserves it more than Johnny in my eyes,” said Tapia’s widow Teresa. “It’s getting better, but it’s always bittersweet because he should be here to enjoy the fruits of his labor.”

Teresa said one of Tapia’s best friends, actor Mickey Rourke and MMA fighter Diego Sanchez, will present her with the Hall of Fame honor at the event. Rourke is also teaming up with the late fighter’s widow to make a movie about his life. The pair will co-produce the project. “This is going to be a beautiful story,” said Rourke. “It’s not just going to be about fighting because it’s going to be about the heart and the soul, everything about someone who had what he had inside of him.”

Sanchez has been picked to play the lead role as Tapia. “Diego grew up watching Johnny fight. That’s why he became a fighter,” said Teresa. “He has 100% love and respect for Johnny and New Mexico. Therefore, there couldn’t be a better person to play him, unless it was Johnny himself.”

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