My goodness. This guy's life sounds horrible.
Despite his brilliance in the ring, he was far better known for a life story that was far stranger than any fiction novel could ever be.
An 89-word passage from his 2010 autobiography, "Mi Vida Loca," probably best sums up the sad life of this small, troubled and talented man.
"My name is Johnny Lee Tapia. I was born on Friday the 13th. A Friday in February of 1967. To this day I don't know if that makes me lucky or unlucky. When I was eight I saw my mother murdered. I never knew my father. He was murdered before I was born. I was raised as a pit bull. Raised to fight to the death. Four times I was declared dead. Four times they wanted to pull life support. And many more times I came close to dying."