Council votes to rename community center after boxing legend Johnny Tapia

Johnny Tapia
Johnny Tapia

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Councilors decided to rename an Albuquerque community center after boxing legend Johnny Tapia.

The gym at Wells Park Community Center at Fifth Street and Mountain where Tapia trained is already named after him, but the center itself would become the Johnny Tapia Community Center at Wells Park.

At Monday night’s meeting, the fighter’s widow said Tapia would be touched by the honor.

“Everything was done there. He rode his first bike there. He learned how to throw is back flips there. He had his first kiss there. We were married there. There is a lot of history with Johnny and Wells Park,” Teresa Tapia said.

Some aren’t behind the idea, citing Tapia’s struggles with the law and drugs.

Tapia died in 2012 from heart disease at his Albuquerque home at the age of 45. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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