His life was full of tragic elements since the beginning. Growing up without a family and being on his own through his childhood, Johnny realized very soon that everything in this world he has to achieve without of extra support. Probably, this burden was with him through his entire life, and that's why after the highness of sport's success and victories he zoomed off into the dark of depression. But despite of this Johnny was often seemed smiling, he was always living on all in, just saying mi vida loca- My Crazy Life!
John Lee Tapia was born on February 13, 1967, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, US. His father was killed on the street when his mother was pregnant with Johnny. When Johnny was 8, he saw his mom Virginia were slaughtered and kidnapped, Johnny called for help, but no one believed little boy. On the next day Johnny's mother was found brutally killed. The boy was raised by his grandmother and at the age of 9 she took him to the boxing gym.
At the age of 18, Tapia won The National Golden Gloves, but in 1988 couldn't qualify to Seoul Olympics, losing to Arthur Johnson, and turned pro at the same year. For the first time Tapia became world champion in 1994, in his hometown beating by TKO in 11-th Henry Martinez of El Salvador, for the WBO super-flyweight title. One of the most notable fights in Tapia's carrier came in 1997, when in Las Vegas he faced IBF champion Danny Romero. They both were not only from the same town, but also from the same gym, the first coach of both was Romero's father, Danny Snr. The boys grew up and the rivalry grew with them, Johnny had to leave the gym and find the new coach. Now, these two met each other in the ring, both as world champions. In the very hard fight with the close, but unanimous decision, that day the winner was Johnny Tapia. Later on, Johnny captured WBA and WBO bantamweight belts, and had his first two losses, both against Paulie Ayala, and both a quite questionable. In 2002, Tapia captured the IBF featherweight crown, beating on points The Mexican, Manuel Medina and had a mega-fight against his good friend, The Mexican legend, Marco Antonio Barrera. Johnny ended up his carrier in 2011, with the record of 59(30 KO)-5(1 KO)-2, winning the world titles four times and successfully defending them 14 times.
Outside the ring Johnny often resorted to the drugs and alcohol, probably trying to rid off the depression, caused by his psychological damages during the childhood. For the few times he was returned from the apparent death, caused by cocaine overdose. But Johnny always could recover and get himself together to return into the ring and win again. The huge support he finds in his beloved wife Teresa, who became his psycho-therapist and manager. But even she couldn't shelter Johnny forever... On May 27, 2012, Johnny Tapia was found dead in his home in Albuquerque. Near his body was found the bottle of Pepto-Bismol and several pills. He was 45! During his carrier Johnny wrote the biographical book Mi Vida Loca, but for the last decade the Hollywood directors has an idea of making the movie about the life and experience of the great athlete and outstanding person. On February 13 Johnny Tapia would celebrate his 47!
The amateur European and World Champion Dorel Simion was born in 1977 in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, in the gypsy family. Under the guidance of his father and coach, Dorel won the 1997 World Championships in Budapest and 1998 European Championships in Minsk, at light-welterweight (63.5 Kilo). In 2000 Sydney Olympics, Simion won the bronze medal at welterweight (67 Kilo), in the semi-finals losing to the Olympic Gold medalist, The Russian Oleg Saitov. After the Olympics Simion finished his carrier and doesn't try himself on the pro-ring. Dorel's eldest brother Marian was 1999 World Champion and two-time Olympic silver and bronze medalist. On February 13 Dorel Simion is celebrating his 37-th Birthday!
The amateur flyweight (51 Kilo) World champion Rau'shee Warren was born 1987 in Cincinnati, Ohio, US. On 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, 17-years-old Rau'shee was the youngest member of US delegation, but unfortunately he couldn't pass the first preliminary round of the contests. The same Olympic misfortune Warren experienced on his next two Games, Beijing'08 and London'12. The much more success Warren achieved on the World Championships. He won the bronze on 2005 WCH in Mianyang, China, became the World Champion'2007 in Chicago, beating at the finals the Olympic Champion, Somjit Jongjohor of Thailand, but on 2011 WCH in Baku won the bronze again. By now, Warren started his way on the professional ring. On February 13, Rau'shee Warren becomes 27-years-old!