Proposal to rename NM center for late boxer KO’d

December 18, 2012 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque City Council has shelved a proposal to rename a community center after the late boxer Johnny Tapia.

Councilman Ken Sanchez proposed renaming Wells Park Community Center after the five-time [auth] champion who spent time there as a child.

KOB-TV ( says critics pointed to Tapia’s drug addiction and legal troubles as reasons why the proposal shouldn’t go through.

Sanchez wants to pursue other options, like naming a room or gym after Tapia.

He’s planning a neighborhood meeting sometime in the next two weeks to get ideas from the public.

The 45-year-old Tapia was found dead May 27 at his Albuquerque home.

His turbulent boxing career was marked by cocaine addiction, alcohol, depression and run-ins with the law.

Tapai’s widow says he died from heart disease and high blood pressure.

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