DNA test shows man not biological father of late boxer Tapia
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A court-ordered DNA test shows a man who has long claimed to be the father of the late boxing champ Johnny Tapia is not his dad after all, in the latest saga involving the troubled boxer after his death.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that a copy of the test results obtained by the newspaper indicates conclusively that Jerry Padilla is not Tapia’s biological father.
The results come after a state district judge ordered the DNA test in connection with a lawsuit filed by Tapia’s widow, Teresa. She sued Padilla in 2015, saying he used photos of the Albuquerque-born boxer without permission and used his name to “promote various ventures and enterprises.”
Padilla said he couldn’t comment until the results were verified and examined by a third party.
“This matter is far from over. My relationship with Johnny Tapia, as his father, will never change, or be taken away,” Padilla said in a statement.
Tapia’s widow has long claimed that Padilla was not the boxer’s biological father despite a 2010 at-home test that said he was.
Johnny Tapia died in 2012 at his Albuquerque home. Investigators found one hydrocodone tablet, a painkiller, on the floor beside his body. They said there were no indications of an overdose or alcohol use but said the 45-year-old former fighter likely developed medical complications from past illegal drug use.
Teresa Tapia said her husband was taking medication for his bipolar disorder and high blood pressure.
During his professional career, Johnny Tapia won several championships in three weight classes. But he was banned from boxing for 3 1/2 years in the early ’90s because of his cocaine addiction. Yet Tapia remained a hero among Albuquerque’s Mexican Americans.
Shortly after the boxer’s death, Teresa Tapia married Padilla’s son, Jeffrey, but the two divorced within weeks.
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