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Mi Vida Loca Returns Against Frankie Archuleta

March 4, 2004  By Jason Unpingco Photo © HoganPhotos
This coming Friday, March 5th, Telefutura will feature Johnny Tapia vs. Frankie Archuleta in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Johnny Tapia (53-3-2, 28 KO’s) is one of boxing’s recent stories of personal battle and ultimately redemption. Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, the former five time world champion carries the nickname “Mi Vida Loca” (My Crazy Life) with absolute truth.

Inside the ring, Tapia was for years one of the best technical boxers in the ring. His slick style, outstanding skills, and overall heart-filled ring behavior gave fight fans a treat while campaigning as a junior bantamweight and bantamweight champion. Tapia’s trademark back flip in the middle of the ring personified his intense hyper personality that complimented his boxing skills. His best known fight showed him technically shutting out fellow Albuquerque native, than IBF champ, Danny Romero in 1996. Even his first loss in 1999 to Paulie Ayala, magnified his heart and showmanship in a performance that saw him going toe to toe for twelve non-stop action rounds that made observers call it the Fight of The Year.

Outside the ring, Johnny Tapia’s life has been filled with absolute struggles, dealing with violence, drug addiction, depression and trouble with the law. One of the many tattoos on his body reads “Mi Vida Loca”. It is a testimony to his boxing career and personal life that is inspirational to everybody, including non-boxing fans. The story begins at Tapia being eight years old, when his mother was kidnapped and murdered. Since that time he faced a three year suspension from boxing for cocaine use in 1991 and in more recent years, an attempted suicide by drug overdose in 1999. One can only wonder how he accomplished everything he’s done in the ring and how he continues today as a dedicated voice to his community against drugs, gangs and violence. Even as Tapia is finishing up his illustrious career (and possibly going for a sixth world title later this year), it is good to get a glimpse of this colorful against all odds ex-champion while we still can.

Now Johnny Tapia will step back into the ring against a fellow New Mexico native, Frankie Archuleta. Archuleta, (22-4-1, 13 KO’s), from Las Vegas, New Mexico, is following Tapia and Danny Romero as one of the state’s name boxers. He is a former NABA Junior Featherweight Champion who’s recent biggest fight was a TKO loss to Olympian Rocky Juarez in 2003. Archuleta is eight years younger than Tapia and is attempting to make a name for himself by taking on the world class ex-champion.

New Mexico has always been known for its packed fight houses to support their fighters. Although it isn’t the same magnitude of the 1996 Tapia vs. Danny Romero championship bout, expect a rallying crowd this Friday night as the state’s legendary veteran takes on the younger hometown fighter in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

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