'Macho' Camacho wake eventful
Hector "Macho" Camacho has proved to be as controversial after death as he was during his life.
Several fights broke out during the second day of the viewing of the slain fighter Tuesday, including a scratching match between his alleged girlfriend, another woman who says she's his longtime girlfriend, and his sisters, according to local media reports in Puerto Rico.
"I am the actual girlfriend of Macho, and those who don't like it better not bring it," Cynthia Castillo, who claimed to be Camacho's girlfriend at the time of his death, told ESPN Deportes. "They shouldn't be going after me. They should be thanking me for being with him at all times."
Castillo planted a kiss on the mouth of the slain boxer at the viewing and then walked to the area reserved for family, where she claimed her plate of food was upended. She got into an altercation with Gloria Fernandez, who claimed to have been Camacho's girlfriend for the past 25 years, as well as Camacho's sisters, Esther and Estrella.
"I went to get something to eat because Machito (Hector Camacho Jr.) told me to, and his ex-girlfriend (Fernandez) came up to me and told me that I had to leave," Castillo told ESPN Deportes, showing a fresh scratch across her clavicle. "I said no, so they threw my plate of food and attacked me, and I defended myself."
There was also pushing and shoving between former bantamweight champ Wilfredo Vazquez and Jorge Lozada, who said he's a member of the Camacho family, after Lozada allegedly tried to separate Vazquez's wife and Camacho's mother, Maria Matias, as the two embraced.
For two days, hundreds of people filed past Camacho's open casket, displayed inside a gymnasium decked out for the occasion with black carpet and curtains. The boxer wore white along with a large gold crucifix and a necklace spelling out his nickname, "Macho," in capital letters.
On Thursday, Camacho's body was flown to New York, where fans saw the legend first emerge as a symbol of Puerto Rico's rich prize-fighting lineage.
A viewing was being held Thursday in two sessions, but just for family members. The first was in the afternoon and the second in the late evening at the Elcock Funeral Home in Richmond Hills, according to a funeral home spokesman.
The viewing originally was supposed to take place at Ortiz Funeral Home in the El Barrio section of East Harlem, but a late change of plans moved the viewing to Queens.
Fans will be able to pay their respects at a public viewing Friday from 3 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. at the St. Cecilia's Church in Camacho's old neighborhood, according to a spokeswoman at St. Cecilia's. A funeral mass will be held Saturday starting at 9 a.m. ET. The former world champion's body will be laid to rest afterward at Saint Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.
Camacho was shot Nov. 20 while sitting in a parked car with a friend outside a bar in Bayamon, his hometown. The friend died at the scene and the boxer three days later after doctors removed him from life support. Police have said they have suspects but have not yet arrested anyone for the shooting.
Camacho, who was 50 when he died, left Puerto Rico as a child and moved to New York. He went on to win super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s and fought high-profile bouts against Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez and Sugar Ray Leonard. He had a career record of 79-6-3 and was a showman in the ring, chanting "It's Macho time" before fights and wearing garish jewelry.
He battled drug and alcohol problems throughout his life and had frequent run-ins with police. When he was shot, police found an open package of cocaine in the car and nine unopened packages on his friend.
Information from ESPNDeportes.com contributor Adry Torres and The Associated Press was used in this report.