Tapia vs. Archuleta III officially announced
Story by Gerardo Martinez
Photos by Chris Cozzone
One fight into a comeback after nearly three years off, former five-time world champion Johnny “Mi Vida Loca” will headline his second straight headliner at the Ohkay Casino outside of Espanola, N.M.
This time around, after beating up former sparring partner Jorge Reyes, Tapia, 57-5-2, 29 KOs, will face former nemesis Frankie Archuleta, 26-7-1, 14 KOs, of Las Vegas, N.M., in what will be a 50-50 fight.
The official announcement was made yesterday afternoon at the new Team Tapia gym in northeast Albuquerque.
Having fought twice before, each winning once by decision, the third, and final, meeting will be billed as “The Final Chapter.”
Standing up proudly wearing his newly-designed jailhouse shirt, Tapia told the media, “I didn't buy this shirt - I earned it."
About his third fight with Archuleta, Tapia said it would be a great fight and a better fight than the recent supermatch between Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley.
“We will both leave the ring with a black eye and a pay check,” the 43-year-old veteran said.
As for 34-year-old Archuleta, he says he is in the best shape of his life training under Manuel Anaya and Team Old School.
Archuleta said his older and more experienced foe "has all the tricks in the bag,” but he is preparing for the fight by sparring against one of Albuquerque's prospects, Fidel Maldonado Jr., at the Jack Candelaria Community Center in the southwest area of the Duke City.
Tapia is being trained by Henry Anaya II at the new Team Tapia gym.
The last time the two New Mexicans met was in Albuquerque's Tingley Coliseum almost exactly five years ago. This time around, they will be getting it on June 12th at the Ohkay Casino's outdoor venue, topping off a ten-bout card.
All bouts will be local, with a special emphasis on Northern New Mexico. The lineup includes:
The co-main is a six-round middleweight bout featuring comebacking Joaquin Zamora (18-2-1, 12 KOs), opponent TBA. Also on the lineup: Carlos “El Gallo” Sanchez (5-1, 2 KOs) vs. Geoffrey Spruiell (8-9, 2 KOs) of Pueblo, Colo. in a sixer at jr. middle; Henry Anaya III (0-1) will take on pro debuting Josh Chavez, four at 170; Shiprock’s Jazzma Hogue will debut at bantam, opponent TBA; Arturo Crespin (5-1, 2 KOs) will get an easy foe in Trenton Titsworth (2-6, 2 KOs), who’s lost six straight bouts; Amanda Crespin (2-2-1), on a two-bout win streak, will go four, foe TBA; flyweight Matthew Salazar (1-1) will go four with El Paso’s Joel Garcia; and Fernando Calleros (1-1-1), of Albuquerque, takes on Servando Lopez (2-0, 2 KOs), of Farmington, N.M.
Fight fans should get a good run for their money with ticket prices beginning at $18 and up. Tickets are available at the Ohkay Casino Box Office by calling 1-877-840-0457 and also online at www.ticketforce.com.