Five-time World Boxing Champion Johnny Tapia died of heart disease exacerbated by prescription drugs, an autopsy report released on Wednesday concluded.
The 45-year-old boxer, who was found dead at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 27, died as a result of complications from hypertensive heart disease. Prescription drugs were a contributing factor, the autopsy report said. The cause of death was an accident.
Tapia's wife first released the results on Wednesday, saying her husband died of heart disease and had no illegal drugs in his system.
He rose to prominence in the late 1980s, and eventually won five world boxing championships in three weight classes: super flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight.
His final professional boxing record was 59 wins, five losses, and two draws. Thirty of his wins were knock-outs.
In 2007 he planned a comeback bout against Ilido Julio dubbed "The Final Fury." A month later he was found unconscious of a cocaine overdose and was eventually taken into custody for violating his parole stemming from a prior cocaine offense.
Tapia was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His father was murdered when his mother was pregnant with him, and his mother was later brutally murdered when he was 8 years old.
- Johnny Tapia led a brief and troubled life, which ended tragically with his death in May from what was now ruled to be heart failure. Here is a look back at some of his trials and tribulations. Photo: Getty Images
- Tapia's father was murdered when his mother was reportedly pregnant with him, and she was brutally raped and murdered when he was eight years old. Tapia started boxing at age 9, won the Golden Gloves title in 1983, and he won the junior bantamweight title after turning pro in 1988, only to be suspended from boxing for testing positive for cocaine. Photo: Getty Images
- When he returned to the ring in 1994, Tapia immediately won the WBO junior bantamweight title over Henry Martinez. In this photo, he does a somersault prior to his fight against Ivan Alvarez in which he defended his title. Photo: Getty Images
- Tapia throws a right at opponent Sammy Stewart during their bout at Texas Station in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tapia won the fight with a TKO in the 7th round. Photo: Getty Images
- After moving up to bantamweight, Tapia won his 48th straight bout before losing the WBA title to Paulie Ayala (right) in what Ring Magazine called the Fight of the Year. Photo: Getty Images
- Tapia lost the rematch with Ayala in 2000 in a unanimous decision. Photo: Getty Images
- Tapia went up a weight class before fighting Manuel Medina during the IBF Featherweight Championship bout at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York on April 27, 2002. Tapia won by decision after 12 round and held three belts at the same time. Photo: Getty Images
- Tapia (left) takes a right from Marco Antonio Barrera in the first round of their featherweight bout Saturday, Nov. 2, 2002, at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Tapia lost by unanimous decision. Photo: AP in English
- Tapia is carried around the ring after his majority decision over Evaristo Primero, from El Paso, Texas, in a 10-round bout at Isleta Pueblo, N.M., Friday, Feb. 23, 2007. Tapia said that this would be his last fight. On March 12, he was found unconscious and bleeding in his hotel room from a cocaine overdose. The next day, his brother-in-law and nephew were killed in a car accident as they traveled to see him in the hospital. Photo: AP in English
- Tapia and his wife, Teresa Tapia, make a public plea Wednesday, June 25, 2008, after a championship belt and championship ring were stolen from their Las Cruces, N.M., home earlier in the week. Johnny Tapia said the memorabilia had more than just monetary value because he had hoped to pass the items along to his three children. "I just want my stuff back, just let me give it to my kids," Tapia said. Four years later, Tapia was found dead May 27 from heart failure. Photo: AP in English