50 cent surar ray leonard lou dibella

50 Cent, Sugar Ray Leonard, Lou Dibella at a screening for ‘Tapia’ (photo: Malcolm Ali / Finaimage.com)

*”Tapia,” the true story of former world champion fighter Johnny Tapia will be coming soon to a  theater near you.

This film directed by Eddie Alcazar is compelling and told by Johnny himself a month before he died tragically last year at age 45 of heart failure.

It was a featured attraction at the L.A. Film Festival and from the response that it garnered, it should make a lot of noise.

Lou Dibella of BK Blu, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson with G-UNIT Films have joined forces to present this project to all of America.

This is a story that this writer can relate to, as Johnny Tapia came from humble beginnings, and rose to become a five time world champion fighter.

Along the way though, there were some very tragic moments especially when his mother was murdered when he was 8 years old. An event that literally haunted him his whole life. And he couldn’t quite cope with the fact that the authorities didn’t catch the killer even though they had the leads that they didn’t follow up on in the beginning.

Eventually, they did finally arrest someone, and it turned out to be a person they suspected all along as he was the last person to be seen with his mother before she was stabbed numerous times and left for dead.

It was later on in his life that he had a bout with drugs outside the ring that was the toughest fight that he ever had.

His beautiful wife Teresa stuck by him through thick and thin during this period of his life, and it’s no telling what he would have done without her.

As I sat down and watched this film, I had to reflect on my own life and the battle that I had with drugs. This is why I can relate to what he went through in his life.

There were many ups, and downs. And I was finally able to overcome my own addiction some twenty three ago.

I highly recommend that you go and see this because it is compelling.

The house was packed for the screening of this film, and such notables as  the great “Sugar” Ray Leonard and R&B singer Johnny Gill came out to pay tribute to Johnny Tapia. May God’s peace and blessings be upon him.

Southern California based Mohammed Mubarak’s Ringside Update column can also be seen in the Pace News, the Inland Valley News, and the High Desert Inland Valley News. Mohammed is a portrait artist as well. He can be contacted at [email protected] for your comments.

Mohammed Mubarak

Mohammed Mubarak