The Speed Bag: Tragedy strikes boxing world
The boxing fraternity was engulfed in tragedy this week after it emerged that former five time world champion Johnny Tapia had been found dead at his home in Alburquerque, New Mexico.
Tapia, 45, held titles at super flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight across a 65 fight career which spanned 23 years and took in fights with Marco Antonio Barrera and Manuel Medina.
The colourful Tapia was perhaps best remembered for his array of graphic body tattoos and tragic background- both of his parents were murdered before Tapia turned nine.
Tapia was last seen in the ring in 2011 when he compiled a points win over eight rounds against Mauricio Pastrana.
In a doubly tragic week, former two time welterweight world champion, Paul Williams, was left paralysed from the waist down following a motorbike accident.
The 30-year-old had been preparing for a September fight with unbeaten Mexican Saul Alvarez and had hoped to land a first title at light-middleweight with victory over ‘El Canelo’.
Williams (41-2) is still awaiting spinal surgery, however doctors have told the American that his chances of walking again are non-existent.
Elsewhere, Amir Khan has put the disappointment of missing out on a rematch with Lamont Peterson behind him and has announced a July meeting with undefeated American Danny Garcia.
Garcia (23-0) captured the WBC light-welterweight title in March with a routine points victory over Erik Morales and that belt will be on the line during the Mandalay Bay scrap with Khan.
Khan should know the destiny of his old WBA and IBF light-welterweight belts within the next few weeks as both bodies decide how to respond to Lamont Peterson’s drug test failure.
Finally, Carl Froch believes last Saturday’s stunning five round demolition of Lucian Bute means that his achievements in the sport have surpassed those of other legendary British names in the super middleweight division.
Froch (29-2) became a three-time world champion with his victory over Bute and he now believes that his resume trumps those of Chris Eubank, Joe Calzaghe, Steve Collins and Nigel Benn:
“If you’re asking me how I compare, I’ve eclipsed them, gone past them, it’s as simple as that,” said Froch.