“Macho” Hector Camacho certainly lived up to his nickname, both in and out of the boxing ring. His showboating fearlessness may have won him admirers, but outside of the sport it made enemies, too.
Last Tuesday night, 20th November 2012, Hector Camacho and friend Adrian Mojica Moreno were shot in a drive-by shooting whilst sat outside a bar in a car containing a sizeable amount of cocaine.
Moreno was murdered outright in the attack. Hector Camacho technically survived, but the shot to the head vegetablised the former 4-time champion of the world. He never regained consciousness.
Mother turns off Camacho’s life support against Hector Jr’s wishes
It’s believed that Hector Jr, Macho’s son, wanted the life support left running. Hector’s mother, whose decision it came down to, wanted the machine turned off after Hector Camacho went into cardiac arrest.
Shortly after her wishes were carried out, the boxer’s organs simply stopped responding. He died in San Juan’s Rio Piedras Medical Centre near to his hometown of Bayamon, also the place of the fatal drive-by shooting.
Hector Camacho boxed amongst greatest of our generation
In the ring, Hector Camacho had an enviable record. Scared of no one, he took on everyone of renown who’d fight him during his thirty-year career, much of it boxing pay-per-view gold.
It’s genuinely sad that a pure boxing talent like Macho’s (79W – 6L – 3D- 38KO) will see his accomplishments overshadowed by the life he led beyond the sport.
To some, his out of the ring exploits will only further his legend. The boxing purists, however, will turn their collective backs on his huge contribution to a sport that could certainly do with a character with half of Hector Camacho’s showmanship to liven it up.
He put Sugar Ray Leonard into retirement, caned the outstanding Roberto Durán not just once but twice, and lost to and regained the WBO light welterweight title from Greg Haugen — the former being the first of only six losses as a pro.
Apart from the loss to Saul Duran in 2010 when Hector Camacho tried to make a comeback at 47, three of his other four losses were in world title fights across the different divisions.
A Macho-Man possessed outside the ring
In 2007, Camacho was handed a seven year custodial sentence for burglary, which he pleaded guilty to, conceding that he was under the influence at the time. This was reduced to a suspended sentence, during which he did serve two weeks behind bars for breaking his parole terms.
That was the lowest point of Hector Camacho’s life, which was an endless parade of super-fast living. Drugs, fast cars, faster women, hollow legs when it came to beer and a wife who had a restraining order imposed on him were the cause and effect of the legend’s eventual downfall.
As one commentator reported, “…it was a miracle he made it to fifty.”Maybe, but what he fitted into those five decades many can only ever dream of.
Rest in Peace, Hector Camacho, something you never quite found in your fifty years on Earth.