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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 20:06 GMT
Tapia returns home from hospital
Johnny Tapia
Tapia has a history of drug problems
Five-time world champion Johnny Tapia went home on Wednesday after being taken to hospital unconscious after a reported drug overdose.

Two weeks before, the 40-year-old, who has a history of drug abuse, retired after beating Evaristo Primero.

Tapia overcame appalling suffering and childhood tragedy to become champion at super fly, bantam and featherweights.

While he was in hospital, his nephew and brother-in-law were killed in a car crash on their way to visit him.

In his 2006 autobiography, Tapia described how he had been declared clinically dead five times, each time due to a drug overdose, and police in New Mexico have indicated he will be charged over this latest incident.

The double tragedy is just the latest twist in a horrific life story.

His father was shot dead before he was born and at the age of eight, he saw his mother abducted, before she was later found stabbed to death.

He has also survived shootings, a bus crash and a near-drowning to become one of the most successful fighters of recent years in his weight range.

In 2004, when he announced his retirement for the first time, Tapia said "Boxing has done a beautiful thing for me. It has saved my life."

Tapia leaves hospital
12 Jan 03 |  Boxing

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