A decade after boxing legend Johnny Tapia died, a new gym has opened up for the New Mexico former world champion.
Three years after the sport mourned one of the most charismatic boxers ever, Tapia’s gym closed down. Seven years on, and Tapia’s new Fight Shop is in business.
The Tapiaville Center Boxing Academy will help youngsters in the area get off the streets and put their efforts into something productive.
“You know it’s bittersweet because you want him here. He had a gym. I couldn’t go there after his passing. I closed it, and I know it hurt many people,” she explained.
“It’s always been something close to johnny’s heart. When he was alive, he didn’t do anything for media attention; he did everything out of his heart.”
Johnny Tapia Jr. added: “Honestly, it’s been so long, it’s been a long time coming. I feel like we needed it.
“That’s our primary focus: let’s bring the kids in here, put the gloves on, and drop the guns.
“It’s exciting but also very scary because he’s not here to be in my corner. All we can do is continue to push forward, you know.
“We can try our best in the ring and out.”
In the true Tapia boxing tradition, his son Niko competes in the amateurs. He plans to use the gym to hone his skills.
“I love it. I love the sport with everything in me. I’m just excited for what the future holds,” said Niko.
Where is Johnny Tapia’s new boxing gym?
Posting on social media, organizers are already looking for new members.
“Tapiaville Boxing Academy has a special for $67.22 a month for the first year for our first 100 clients. Come in or give us a call at 505-977-4471.”
The address for Tapiaville Boxing Academy is:
3094 San Mateo Blvd NE suite C
Albuquerque, NM 87110