Quite often when you hear of a sportsman labelled flamboyant, or being referred to as a colourful character, trouble is not too far away. That’s certainly the case with boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho, who was taken off life support this morning.
The 50 year old Puerto Rican was shot in the face whilst sitting in a parked car with a friend on Thursday. The friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno, was killed in the attack, with police locating nine bags of cocaine on his body. A tenth (open) bag was also located in the car.
The shooting ultimately ended the life of a boxing legend – another in the long line of fighters that can politely be described as having a few character flaws.
Camacho grew up in New York’s Spanish Harlem, finding himself in trouble early on. He was jailed at the age of 15, but moved through the boxing ranks quickly, winning a New York Golden Gloves division a year later.
After turning professional, he won four world titles across three weight divisions, and by the early 1990’s, Camacho was widely regarded as a boxing superstar. With lightning speed and incredible agility, he had wins over such names as Roberto Duran (twice – although on the second occasion Duran was 50), Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, and he knocked out an ageing Sugar Ray Leonard, sending Leonard into retirement for the third and final time.
Camacho also took on fighters of the calibre of Julio Cesar Chavez, Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya, losing on points to all three. His final fight was a loss to Saul Duran in May 2010, taking his professional career record to 79-6-3.
He became known as much for his antics out of the ring as he did for his action in it. The Puerto Rican dressed in such costumes as an Indian with full headdress, a loincloth, and a Gladiator’s outfit (as pictured above), and would play to the media at every opportunity.
But Camacho had another side to him. In 2005 he was arrested for burglary, and plead guilty. He had issues with drugs, was shot at three times during a carjacking incident last year, and was also awaiting trial for abusing his son at the time of his death.
It was a sad, but perhaps not surprising, end to the flamboyant life of a colourful character. There’s no word as yet on Hamish Dobson’s reaction.