Former world boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho died yesterday after being taken off life support. Camacho had been shot in the head while sitting in a van in his native Puerto Rico. The driver of the van was killed instantly. Camacho was expected to recover from his injuries but subsequently went into cardiac arrest rendering him brain dead. He was 50.
I watched a lot of boxing in the early 1980s and remember Camacho’s flamboyant ring attire and his lightning quick speed. Camacho made his pro debut in 1980 winning his first 38 fights defeating the likes of Edwin Rosario, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Vinny “The Devil” Pazienza.
His undefeated streak came to an end in February 1991 when he lost a controversial split decision to Greg Haugen while defending the WBO Light Welterweight title. Camacho had a point deducted when he did not touch gloves with Haugen in the 12th and final round of their fight. However, three months later, Camacho regained the title from Haugen.
Camacho is the only boxer to win championships in seven different weight classes (super featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight and super middleweight). These championships were won in three different decades. In his later career, Camacho fought Roberto Duran, Julio Caesar Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya. He also defeated Sugar Ray Leonard in his final fight. In 2008, Camacho won the WBE Light Middleweight Title at the age of 46. He finished his career in 2010 with a record of 79-6-3 with 38 knockouts.
Throughout his life, Camacho had scrapes with the law and last year was shot several times during a carjacking.
Cocaine was found in the van but it is unclear what the motive of crime is as no one as of this writing has been arrested in connection with what is now a double homicide.
I leave you with what Camacho did best with some musical accompaniment by (who else?) The Village People.
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