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RIP Hector, Champion of the World

David Prendergast By David Prendergast Published on May 16, 2016

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A fighter, a boxer, a world champion. A delinquent, a ex-con, a drug user. A husband, a father, an adulterer, child beater.

Hector “Macho” Camacho will be remembered as many things.

In the ring, the three times world champion was flamboyant, narcissist, courageous and artistic. Such was his agility, hand speed and counter-punching that in 1982 Sugar Ray Leonard ordained the then 20 year old Camacho to the media as the man who would replace him as the dominant boxer of his generation. In 1997 Camacho ended Leonard’s career with a fifth round knock-out in a welterweight bout at Atlantic City.

But his career as a boxer was a career that was overshadowed by what he got up to outside of the ring.

Raised in the tough neighbourhood of Spanish Harlem in New York City, Camacho took up boxing at the age of eleven. As well as winning three New York Golden Glove titles 96 of his 100 amateur fights during his teenage years Camacho also spent time in Rikers Island for car theft and frequented in street brawling, drug use and shop lifting.

Camacho’s reckless nature never left him and during his professional career he was arrested numerous times for domestic abuse, drug abuse, burglary, and trying to bring an M-16 assault rifle through customs. At the time of his death he was awaiting trial for allegedly beating up one of his four children.

In the ring however he sparkled. He turned professional at the age of eighteen and became a world champion by the age of 21. He won 79 of his 88 professional fights, losing 6 and drawing 3. He was famous for his outfit choices when entering the ring. His outfits included a Roman gladiator, Native American warrior, a nappy, a loincloth and a black fox fur robe with his nickname Macho stitched across the back of it in white mink.

On Tuesday November 20th 2012 Hector Camacho was shot in the left side of his face as he sat in the passenger seat of a black Ford Mustang in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The driver of the black Ford Mustang, Adrian Mojica Moreno, was also shot and died instantly. Camacho was rushed to hospital where he was declared brain dead on Thursday. His family made the decision to switch off his life support machine on Saturday.

In the car where he was shot, police found ten bags of cocaine. No arrests have been made in connection with the double murder.

• Héctor "Macho" Camacho, boxer, born 24 May 1962; died 24 November 2012.

Word junkie from Ireland. Poisoned with a strong love of travel, tea, and stories. Enjoy basking in the pre-determined randomness of life. “The thing about love is that we come alive in ... Show More

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