The Albuquerque Police Department wants former five-time world boxing champion Johnny Tapia for questioning about a barroom brawl on Friday. Tapia, whose ring moniker “Mi Vida Loca” sums up his life to a T, was allegedly involved in a scuffle at the Sidelines Grille and Bar on Coors Avenue in Albuquerque.
The press has reported that some men got into an argument with one of Tapia’s friends, which soon got out of hand, and chairs, glasses and eventually punches were thrown. The minute-long fight resulted in one man, Steven Montoya, aka the victim, suffering a chipped tooth and facial bruises.
According to the APD’s spokesperson John Walsh, “We don’t know if it’s Johnny Tapia or not. Everybody at the scene says it was. We’ve called the places we believe he could be at and have been unsuccessful in making any contact.”
Witnesses stated that a man fitting Tapia’s description drove off in a cream-colored Humvee. Police are now searching for that vehicle.
If the former champ was involved in the alleged assault he will be charged with simple battery, an offense not serious enough to jeopardize his losing his license to box. Of greater concern is what Johnny Tapia, whose bouts with drinking and drugs are legendary, and were presumably behind him, was doing in a bar in the first place.