The documentary 50 Cent and Lou DiBella bought the rights to in 2013, based on the life of later boxer Johnny Tapia, is finally set to premiere on HBO on Dec. 16.
The film, entitled Tapia, uses first-person narration and archival footage to explore the achievements, personal demons and ultimate redemption of the popular fighter, who died in 2012 at age 45.
“Johnny Tapia’s life story was an incredible journey, and we are eager to celebrate his biggest accomplishments and chronicle the toughest and most difficult moments of his turbulent life,” said executive producer Rick Bernstein. “Tapia was so much more than just a world champion, and we want to share this gripping account with our subscribers, many of whom may have seen Johnny in his five fights on HBO, but may not know the amazing story behind the fighter.”
“Johnny’s is a story that needed to be told,” added 50 Cent. “Everyone can relate to some aspect of it, which makes it that much more powerful. Personally, his journey is one that has touched me greatly.”
Born in 1967, Johnny Tapia used boxing as way out of his impoverished life in Albuquerque, NM. He would eventually become a five-time world champion in three different weight classes. However, tormented as an adult by the brutal kidnapping and murder of his mother, which occurred when he was eight years old, Tapia suffered repeated episodes of drug addiction and mental illness.