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Johnny Tapia’s wife announces plans for public memorial to honor late fighter

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Johnny Tapia, shown in 2008 with his wife, Teresa, died Sunday at 45. (AP)

Teresa Tapia, the late boxer Johnny Tapia's wife and manager, released a statement Monday regarding her husband's death and indicated a public memorial service is planned.

Johnny Tapia, 45, was found dead in his home about 7:45 p.m. MT on Sunday, according to Albuquerque, N.M., police. Tapia was a three-division ex-world champion who was one of the most popular fighters of his time and was an icon in New Mexico.

He fought demons throughout his career, including a decades-long addiction to cocaine. He was declared dead four times prior to Sunday and referred to his life as "Mi Vida Loca," which is Spanish for "My Crazy Life."

[Kevin Iole: Death finally catches up to former boxing champ Johnny Tapia]

Teresa Tapia said in her statement she would not comment on the circumstances surrounding her husband's death until autopsy results are available. An Albquerque Police spokesman told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday that the death did not appear suspicious.

Teresa Tapia's statement, in full:

Today our family grieves the loss of a husband, a father and a close friend. With Johnny, the world has lost not just a Hall of Fame boxer but a special person, a fighter in life and in the ring. I am appreciative of all the support and condolences we've received and I thank Johnny's many friends and fans for standing by in this difficult time.

I know many people are waiting for news but as we await the results of the autopsy I am not in a position to make any comment on what happened on Sunday.

We will hold a public memorial service for Johnny to give everyone a chance to say good-bye. The holiday and autopsy are delaying our final plans. We will announce the particulars as soon as arrangements have been made.

I know Johnny will be missed by everyone who ever met him. He was a special light in this world. He loved people so much, made friends with everyone so easily and kept those friends forever. He will remain in our hearts and be missed by all of us very dearly.

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