Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Hector 'Macho' Camacho shot in Puerto Rico
By Michael Woods
The flashy-fisted Hector "Macho" Camacho was shot in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, and seriously wounded, but is expected to survive.
At least one shooter fired at Camacho and another man as they sat in a car in Bayamon. The other man was killed. After being shot, Camacho was taken to a trauma center in San Juan, and he was in critical but stable condition, according to the hospital director.
The 50-year-old fighter who was known in his heyday for possessing some of the speediest hands and shiftiest moves in the game. He last fought in 2010 and held titles from junior featherweight to middleweight, wowing fight fans at the old Felt Forum with his rat-a-tat combos and flamboyant persona.
Born in Puerto Rico, he came with his family as a youth to Spanish Harlem, and had to choose between the allure of the street and the ring. The ring won, but trouble did seem to chase the lefty even after he made boxing his chief focus.
The fighter scored a win over Bazooka Limon in 1983, which had even the masters marveling. He started partying too hard and then became more defensive minded after a rumble with Edwin Rosario in 1986. There were big wins (over "Boom Boom" Mancini) but the losses started accumulating. He dropped bouts to Greg Haugen in 1991, Julio Cesar Chavez the following year and Felix Trinidad in 1994. He still got work, with that name, and mouth, and scored a win over an aged Sugar Ray Leonard. Oscar De La Hoya beat him up in 1997, and that was his last chance at a truly meaningful scrap.
Showtime's Steve Farhood covered a load of the early fights as Camacho turned pro in 1980. He explained the appeal of the craftsman with the cocky edge. "He was a magnetic personality and a thrilling fighter to watch during the brief period he was at his best," Farhood said, pegging that as around 1983 or 1984. "He had hand speed equal to that of anybody else including Pernell Whitaker and Sugar Ray Leonard. He had a cockiness about him ... he rarely got touched. There was very little doubt he'd be a champion. Outside the ring, he was a lovable rogue."