Five-time world titleholder Johnny Tapia was admitted to the psychiatric ward at Bernalillo County Metro Detention Center in Albuquerque, reports T.K. Stewart.
An anonymous source telephoned Tapia's long-time probation officer on Tuesday morning and told her that Tapia was using cocaine.
According to a spokesperson at the New Mexico State Department of Corrections, the probation officer then called Tapia at his home and he admitted to her that he was using cocaine which is in violation of the terms of his probation for a prior drug offense. Within hours the former champ was again behind bars.
Tapia, who turns 42 today, has essentially been retired since February 2007 when he last appeared in the ring with a 10-round majority decision win over Evaristo Primero. On a few occasions over the past two years there were rumors that Tapia was going to make a return to the fight game but the bouts never came to fruition.
A representative at the Metro Detention Center in Albuquerque would only confirm that Tapia was brought into custody on Tuesday afternoon, that an evaluation was performed and that Tapia was admitted to the psychiatric ward. No messages are able to be passed on to him by the press.
Johnny did turn 42 yesterday, and his long battle with cocaine addiction has been well-known. It's a genuine shame that a fighter as charismatic and exciting as Tapia will be remembered this way. Drug addiction becomes harder and harder to beat down for good as you age, and Tapia's been this way for a long time now.
We've all read and heard the stories, I'm sure, of Johnny Tapia being one of the sweetest guys in boxing when he's clean, and totally different when he's not. It's tragic.
You also probably know the horrible story of his mother's murder. She was raped and stabbed 22 times, after the eight-year old Tapia had seen her being kidnapped but was unable to alert anyone else in the home. His father was shot dead before he was born. After years of gang banging, he turned to boxing, where he found great success and became the pride of Albuquerque.
Tapia is currently being held without bond, awaiting a date with a judge.
Bad Left Hook sends our best wishes to Johnny Tapia, his family and his friends. Beat it, Johnny, and long may you run. Get well and get clean.