Boxing Great Johnny Tapia To Make Ring Return

by James Slater: It looks like you can add the name of Johnny Tapia to the seemingly endless list of former world champions making comebacks these days. According to, Tapia now aged forty one, will box in El Paso, Texas on May the 2nd..

Tapia, a former world champion at super flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight, last fought in February of 2007 - winning a ten round decision. But the last time "Mi Vida Loca" engaged in a top level encounter, he was soundly out pointed by Marco Antonio Barrera. Also, since his championship days, Johnny's drug problems - problems that have almost led to his death - have been well documented. It seems, however, that whatever kind of shape he is in today, the former great wants to fight again. Is Tapia another former champion who simply does not know what else to do with his life but fight? It seems so.

Of course, you could argue Tapia has been fighting all his life. Fight fans the world over are aware of his story, and the quite dreadful things he has had to endure during his life. Being in a boxing ring against an opponent wearing gloves seems, to the ultra-tough Tapia, like a relatively safe and, above all, fair place to be. So his latest comeback appears set. So far no opponent has been named for the 56-5-2(28) modern day legend, but Johnny is to headline a card at The County Coliseum in El Paso.

Tapia was once a truly formidable fighting machine. His great battles with the likes of Danny Romero, Paulie Ayala, Manuel Medina and Barrera will never be forgotten by his fans. It would be a real shame if he were to tarnish his name with a sad and fruitless return now. Then again, it could be argued that Tapia has already taken part in one such comeback. Back in 2005, after a couple of so-so wins after losing on points to Barrera, Johnny suffered the ignominy of being knocked out for the only time in his superb career. Facing the unheralded 24-13-2 Sandro Marcos in September of 2005, Tapia was shockingly KO'd in just two rounds. It looked then as though he would surely fight no more in a boxing ring.

Yet now, after a points win over one Evaristo Primera, 14-9-1, which came in February of last year, Johnny is set to climb through the ropes one more time. It is to be hoped the fate he suffered against Marcos is not repeated. We wish he wouldn't come back, but with a guy as likeable as Johnny Tapia, we have to wish him good luck anyway.

Article posted on 12.04.2008

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