The Ghost of Johnny Tapia - Hamilcar Publications

The Ghost of Johnny Tapia

Paul Zanon with Teresa Tapia, with a foreword by Sammy Hagar


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“A gritty, engrossing, and concise account of a boxer’s meteoric career and tortured personal life.”—Kirkus Reviews (full review)

“If I wake up, I know I’m a success. The day I don’t wake up, I know I’ll be home. I have one foot on this earth and one foot has crossed over. I didn’t just die, I lived.”—Johnny Tapia

…the ghost of Johnny Tapia lives on.

“Mi Vida Loca” (My Crazy Life) was Johnny Tapia’s nickname and his reason for being. Haunted by the brutal murder of his beloved mother when he was a child, fighting and drugs gave him the escape he craved—and he did both with gusto. In THE GHOST OF JOHNNY TAPIA, Paul Zanon, with the help of Tapia’s widow Teresa, tells the harrowing and unforgettable story of a boxing genius who couldn’t, in the end, defeat his demons.

The Ghost of Johnny Tapia is the second in the Hamilcar Noir series. Hamilcar Noir is “Hard-Hitting True Crime” that blends boxing and true crime, featuring riveting stories captured in high-quality prose, with cover art inspired by classic pulp novels.


Learn more about this title:


Interview With Teresa Tapia and Paul Zanon



  • Publication Date: November 12, 2019
  • Author: Paul Zanon
  • Foreword: Sammy Hagar
  • Edition: 1st edition
  • Availability: Worldwide
  • Imprint: Hamilcar Publications
  • Series: Hamilcar Noir, Vol. 2
  • Paperback:
    • ISBN: 9781949590159
    • Page Count: 96
    • List Price: $9.99 | £7.99
  • Distribution: Two Rivers

Other Hamilcar Noir Titles include:


Paul Zanon Author

Paul Zanon has written eight books, with almost all of them reaching the number-one bestselling spot in their respective categories on Amazon. He has co-hosted boxing shows on Talk Sport and has been a pundit on London Live and Boxnation. He is a regular contributor to Boxing MonthlyHannibal Boxing, and a number of other publications. Paul is member of the British Boxing Writers Club.

Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulZanon1972

Listen to Paul Zanon Discuss The Ghost of Johnny Tapia


“The narrative describes the arc of Tapia’s professional life in economical but effective detail…Zanon knows the sport well enough to keep these bouts intriguing…with a good deal of momentum and little sentimentality. The resulting portrait is that of a deeply weak and flawed man who could nevertheless exhibit a real zest for living. A gritty, engrossing, and concise account of a boxer’s meteoric career and tortured personal life.”Kirkus Reviews

“The Ghost of Johnny Tapia is a short, sharp and entertaining read…there is more than enough there to capture the craziness, the charisma and the talent of a very unique man. In particular it gives a fascinating insight into the tragedies of his young life which gave rise to the demons he could never fully overcome.” All Sports Books Reviews

“Right from the opening page it grabs you in, and doesn’t let get go until you have completed the book, you know every word written is meant to be there.” Fight Post