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Hector Camacho


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Héctor Camacho (born May 24, 1962), nicknamed "Macho Camacho", is a Puerto Rican professional boxer. His son, Héctor Camacho Jr., is also a boxer.

Early life and amateur career

Camacho was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, but his family moved to Spanish Harlem when he was a child. He ran into trouble there as a teen, getting into fights and landing in jail at 15. He also learned boxing and karate as a teenager, and since he demonstrated talent as a boxer, he chose that sport as a career. He is the first fighter to win in seven different divisions.

Camacho won three New York Golden Gloves Championships. Camacho won the 1978 112 lb Sub-Novice Championship, 1979 118 lb Open Championship and 1980 119 lb Open Championship. In 1979 Camacho defeated Paul DeVorce of the Yonkers Police Athletic League in the finals to win the title and in 1980 Camacho defeated Tyrone Jackson in the finals to win the Championship. Camacho trained at the LaSombra Sporting Club in New York.

Professional career

After a stellar amateur career, Camacho began a quick rise through the professional rankings, first in the Featherweight and then in the Junior Lightweight division. He was so confident that he claimed he could beat World featherweight champions Salvador Sánchez and Eusebio Pedroza. However, Sanchez died when Camacho was still coming up in the ranks.

In the Junior Lightweight division, he defeated top contenders Irleis Cubanito Perez, Melvin Paul, John Montes and Refugio Rojas (Both Montes and Rojas lasted one round, and Rojas would later last seven in a world title challenge of Julio César Chávez for Chavez's world Jr. Lightweight championship).

Junior Lightweight division

When World Junior Lightweight champion Bobby Chacon refused to go to Puerto Rico to defend his title against Camacho, the WBC declared the world championship vacant, and the man Chacon had taken the title from, Rafael Limón, fought Camacho for the vacant title. It was the first time Camacho was in a ring with a former world champion, and he didn't show any lack of experience, scoring knockdowns on Limón in the first and third rounds before the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round.

His first defense also came in San Juan where he met fellow Puerto Rican Rafael Solis, whose family included former world bantamweight champion Julian Solís. Camacho got tested in this fight for the first time and was shaken in round three by a Solis uppercut, but he flattened Solis with a right to the chin in round five, knocking him out to retain the title.

Lightweight division

At the time Andrew Jodoin was undefeated Next came a move to lightweight, where he won the United States Boxing Association title with a twelve round decision of Roque Montoya. His next fight made him a two time world champion. Fought on Home Box Office, Camacho beat the Mexican defending world champion, José Luis Ramírez in Las Vegas to win the world Lightweight championship. Camacho dropped Ramirez in round three and went on to win the fight by a unanimous twelve round decision.

The two other reigning world champions in his division at that time, Livingstone Bramble and Jimmy Paul, were reluctant to unify the crown with Camacho. Instead, he beat Freddie Roach before his next fight of importance came along, ten months after beating Ramirez.

He met Edwin Rosario in New York, once again on HBO. In a famous fight, Camacho dominated rounds one to four, but had to hang on for dear life in rounds five, six and seven when he felt Rosario's power. He came back to take rounds eight and nine, but Rosario came back taking the last three rounds. It was a close fight but Camacho won the title by split decision. After this fight, Camacho's style changed into a defensive style that seemed more intent on avoiding punishment than winning a fight.

Camacho then retained his title vs former world junior lightweight champion Cornelius Boza Edwards in Miami in a unanimous decision before going up in weight again. After a few fights there, he met former world lightweight champion Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, who had a record of 29-3 with 23 knockouts coming into this fight, for the vacant WBO version of the world Junior Welterweight title. Camacho was the fresher of the two and ended up winning a unanimous twelve round decision, joining that exclusive group of world champion boxers who have become three time world champions.

Camacho next met Vinny Paz, winning on points again. His next challenger was Tony Baltazar, from Phoenix. Baltazar was another points victim on an HBO televised bout. Camacho saw his undefeated streak come to an end and lost his world championship to the former world Lightweight champion Greg Haugen. This fight would have ended in a draw if it were not for the fact that the referee deducted one point from Camacho for refusing to touch gloves with Haugen at the start of the 12th round. After the fight, an unidentified substance was found in Haugen's urine, and a rematch was ordered. Camacho regained the title, beating Haugen in a close split decision.

In 1992, Camacho entered the ring dressed as Captain America for his showdown with the legendary Mexican pugilist Julio César Chávez, in Las Vegas on Showtime's Pay Per View leg, SET. Camacho lost by unanimous decision.

Among Camacho's notable bouts since 1992 were two victories (by points) over Roberto Durán, (one in Atlantic City, the other in Denver. In 1997, he knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard in 5 rounds. This loss sent Leonard into permanent retirement, putting an end to his comeback attempt after a loss to Terry Norris in 1991. Camacho fought for the World Welterweight Championship against Félix Trinidad (in 1994) and Oscar De La Hoya (in 1997), losing both matches by unanimous decision.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Famed Puerto Rican boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho is clinically brain dead, doctors said Thursday, though they said family members were disagreeing on whether to take him off life support.

Dr. Ernesto Torres said doctors have finished performing all medical tests on Camacho, who was shot in the face Tuesday night.

"We have done everything we could," said Torres, who is the director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan. "We have to tell the people of Puerto Rico and the entire world that Macho Camacho has died, he is brain dead."

He said at a news conference that the family expects to say by Friday if Camacho should remain on life support.

Torres said Camacho's father has already indicated that he wants the boxer taken off life support and his organs donated, but one of his sisters opposes the idea.

"This is a very difficult moment," he said.

Ismael Leandry, a longtime friend and former manager, told reporters that Camacho's mother also is wavering on taking her son off life support and would like more time with him. He said the family is waiting for Camacho's oldest son to arrive Thursday night before having a family reunion and making a decision.

"Let's remember him as a good man," Leandry said. "He was a good father, a good son."

Steve Tannenbaum, a friend and a former boxing agent for Camacho, said in a phone interview that he idolized Camacho as a boxer.

"He is one of the greatest small fighters that I have ever seen," he said. "Hector Camacho had a legendary status."

Tannenbaum said he initially believed Camacho would survive. "He was almost like the indestructible man. He had so many troubles with the law, so many altercations in his life. It's a great shame."

The 50-year-old Camacho was shot as he and a friend sat in a Ford Mustang parked outside a bar Tuesday night. Police spokesman Alex Diaz said officers found nine small bags of cocaine in the friend's pocket, and a 10th bag open inside the car. Camacho's friend, identified as 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, was killed in the attack.

Doctors had initially said Camacho was expected to survive, but his condition worsened and his heart stopped briefly overnight Tuesday, Torres said. The bullet entered his jaw and lodged in his shoulder after tearing through three of four main arteries in his neck, affecting blood flow through his brain, doctors said.

"That lack of oxygen greatly damaged Macho Camacho's brain," Torres said.

Torres had said late Wednesday that Camacho was still showing irregular and intermittent brain activity.

Camacho was born in Bayamon, a city within the San Juan metropolitan area, but he grew up mostly in New York's Harlem neighborhood, earning the nickname "the Harlem Heckler."

He won 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. Camacho knocked out Leonard in 1997, ending the former champ's final comeback attempt.

Camacho has a career record of 79-6-3.

In recent years, he divided his time between Puerto Rico and Florida, appearing regularly on Spanish-language television as well as on a reality show called "Es Macho Time!" on YouTube. InSan Juan, he had been living in the beach community of Isla Verde, where he would readily pose for photos with tourists who recognized him on the street, said former pro boxer Victor "Luvi" Callejas, a neighbor and friend.

Camacho battled drugs, alcohol and other problems throughout his life. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi. While arresting him on the burglary charge in January 2005, police also found the drug ecstasy.

A judge eventually suspended all but one year of the sentence and gave Camacho probation. He wound up serving two weeks in jail, though, after violating that probation.

His wife also filed domestic abuse complaints against him twice before their divorce several years ago.

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