If you have been fascinated by the life and times of the late world champion Johnny Tapia, you might want to know that “Tapia,” a documentary about just that, will premiere Saturday in competition in the Los Angeles Film Festival at the Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live. (There will be an additional screening June 19).
The rights to the documentary that will take a look at Tapia’s hard life that ended in May 2012 at the age of 45, belong to promoter Lou DiBella and entertainment mogul Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. For one, Tapia was only 8 when partially witnessed the violent murder of his mother. The film will explore, among other things, the eventual drug addiction of Tapia, as well as his fine boxing career.
“I was drawn to the intensity of this project,” Jackson said. “His story resonated with me because like Tapia, I, too, lost my mother to violence and grew up with limited means. It’s a heartfelt story and it was important for me to get involved with bringing this to a broader audience.”
Said DiBella: “I’m thrilled to join 50 in acquiring this riveting documentary. This is not a boxing film, but a film about tragedy, triumph, demons and redemption.”
The documentary features Tapia in his own words and interviews with trainer Freddie Roach, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and Tapia’s wife, Teresa.
Tapia compiled a record of 59-5-2 with 30 knockouts and won titles in three weight classes.