Albuquerque-born boxer Johnny Tapia's life was a maelstrom of turmoil. The glory of his punishing ring prowess and handful of world titles across three weight classes forever jockeyed with personal demons: his mother's kidnapping and murder when he was 8, drug addiction, mental illness and suicide attempts. Before the fighter's tragic death last year at the age of 45, director Eddie Alcazar spent time with Tapia researching a biopic. What would become his last interviews are now the beating heart of Alcazar's gripping, elegiac documentary. In it, the bedeviled, soft-spoken champion opens up about the severe ups and downs of a life in which the strategic ferocity of the ring may have been the only true sanctuary for a soul routinely beaten down outside the ropes. 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival
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