How we all forget . . .
By Rick Farris
The notice of Johnny Tapia's passing has generated a lot of talk, memories. A great fighter, a unique story, one that was shared world wide via TV as was Tapia's career.
A few days ago, another world champ passed away. Like Tapia, he was a small fighter with a big fight inside him. A tough guy, a world champion. Like Tapia, he shared his career with drug and alochol abuse.
Of course, Johnny Tapia fought on network TV and cable TV, he was seen world wide, became a household name in the boxing community. Raul had the same impact on his fans, but they were those of us who watched him fight live, or on local TV in L.A. In Los Angeles, Rojas could sell out the Olympic. In New York, they didn't know who he was.
Johnny's death made the L.A. Times this morning, but Raul Rojas' has not, and Rojas died last week. Raul was a world champ, an L.A. guy who was a headliner during one of the city's greatest eras in boxing. He retired into a job as a Longshoreman, he worked the LA Harbor with other local boxing legends.
Rojas died days ago, and Don Fraser and I have both contacted the L.A. Times with news and info regarding the death of Raul Rojas, but have yet to acknowledge it in their paper. As Don and I know, most of the sports writer weren't alive 43 years ago when Raul won the world featherweight title. Because of this he was overlooked every year by the World Boxing Hall of Fame. I posted a Facebook message regarding Raul's funeral arraingments, for those who might like to pay their final respects to a world champion. There was no response to this either.
Raul's name might not make the L.A. Times Obituary column, but back in the day when he was King of the 126 pounders in boxing, it was mentioned often in their sports page. I don't know about anybody else who remembers Raul from his days as champ, but this friday, at 10am, I'll be at All Souls Mortuary in Long Beach, and paying my respects to a fallen champion.