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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ IBF featherweight champion Johnny Tapia was arrested Friday for failing to pay several traffic tickets.

``Johnny had gotten several tickets over the last 18 months, some were for speeding and some were for reckless driving,'' Theresa Tapia, the boxer's wife and manager, said Friday in a telephone interview from the couple's home in Las Vegas.

Theresa Tapia said she expected Tapia to be released later Friday.

She said the four-time world champion from Albuquerque tried to take care of the unpaid traffic citations about two weeks ago but was not allowed to do so when the couple went to a Las Vegas police station.

``Johnny and I went down there and he asked them if he could turn himself in,'' Tapia's wife said. ``They said he had to be escorted by a police officer. Johnny told them, `That's a first.'''

Theresa Tapia said she contacted an attorney the next day and was assured the matter would be taken care of.

``This morning, a police officer came to our door and arrested him,'' she said.

Theresa Tapia said the couple didn't know until about two weeks ago that three arrest warrants had been issued.

``Johnny, I guess, just forgot about them,'' she said of the citations. ``We've been traveling, and the notices were being sent to our old address. We obviously didn't get them.''

Tapia ran his record to 52-2-2 in April when he earned a unanimous decision over Manuel Medina to win the IBF title.

Theresa Tapia said Tapia was still asleep when police came Friday morning.