Boxing


Opponent Named For Johnny Tapia's Come-Back Fight

by James Slater: Joining the list of fellow former world champions that just cannot stay retired and say goodbye to the game, Johnny Tapia fights again a week on Friday - as has been reported earlier. Now, according to BoxRec.com, Tapia's opponent has been named as Jose Leo Moreno, a 33 year old from Minnesota..

With a more than reasonable pro record of 12-2(10), Moreno has a good chance of actually defeating the former world champion when they clash in El Paso, Texas on May the 2nd. Moreno has been in with some good fighters before. In his last two fights, he was beaten by Mike Arnaoutis and Lamont Peterson, respectively. The 33 year old was taken out in one round by Arnaoutis, but lasted the full ten round distance with the red hot Peterson. Clearly, then, Moreno can fight. It also must be said, most of his fights have taken place up at light-welterweight or full welterweight. It is not yet known what weight Moreno will face Tapia at, but we must remember Johnny was at his peak at super-flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight! How high will he box at in this latest return?

Unless Moreno drops down a considerable amount of weight, are we to assume Tapia will fight a light-welterweight? This come-back is beginning to look like a bad idea if this is indeed the case. No-one really knows what kind of shape Tapia is in, or what he is weighing-in at right about now. The former super-flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight world champion has not picked an overly easy or weak opponent against whom to return against, that is for certain.

Sure, Moreno lost his last two fights, but against a very good class of opponent. On the other hand, the 33 year old has been inactive as of late. Not having boxed since the points loss to Peterson in February of 2006, it is likely Moreno will be suffering from more ring-rust than the 41 year old Tapia come the first bell. Johnny has actually fought more recently than his eight years younger opponent, having won a ten round decision in February of last year. Maybe Tapia will get another win come May 2nd after all then. But even if he does so; what then?

At his current age, and after having been through all the personal problems he has in the past, it is very hard to see this latest return to the ring ending on a happy note. Hopefully, the fight against Moreno will be nothing more than a case of "one last fight" and then out for the man who goes by the alias on "Mi Vida Loca."

Article posted on 23.04.2008



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