Former boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho was pronounced dead on Saturday after complications of being shot in the face and neck on Wednesday in a shootout between two vehicles in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The 50-year-old Camacho was shot as he and a friend, Mojica Moreno, sat in a Ford Mustang parked outside a bar. Hospital officials at Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan said that the bullet fractured his vertebrae and was lodged in his shoulder. Camacho ultimately had a heart attack and died a short time later after being taken off life support. Camacho’s friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno, was also killed in the shooting.
Police spokesman Alex Diaz said officers found nine small bags of cocaine in Moreno’s pocket, and a 10th bag open inside the car. The police said that two men fled the scene in a sport utility vehicle, but that no arrests had been made however ESPN reported earlier in the week that the driver of the other car was also killed.
Camacho, known for his lightning-quick hands and ostentatious personality won titles as a super featherweight, a lightweight and a junior welterweight last fought at age 35 in 1997 losing the welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya. His professional record was 79-6-3, with 38 knockouts. Camacho was married once and divorced is survived by his mother; a sister, Raquel; four sons, Hector Jr., Taylor, Christian and Justin; and two grandsons. Hector Jr. is also a professional boxer.
As a teenager in Spanish Harlem, Camacho was a serial shoplifter, an admitted drug user, a brawler and a car thief. Going on to become a celebrity boxer and making plenty of money, Camacho was never able to put that part of his life behind. During his adult life, “Macho” was arrested numerous times on various charges such as burglary and trying to take an M-16 rifle through customs, domestic abuse, and possession of a controlled substance. Just this past year he had turned himself in after a warrant was issued charging him with beating one of his sons. A trial on this was still pending at the time of his death.
Camacho’s bio reads like this…
Hector Luis Camacho was born in Bayamon, P.R., near San Juan, on May 24, 1962. After his mother, Maria, separated from his father when Hector was 3 years old, they moved to Spanish Harlem. He started boxing at 11 and eventually won three New York City Golden Gloves titles, though after the first one he found himself in a cell at Rikers Island, serving three months for car theft. At 15, after being thrown out of a number of schools, he entered a Manhattan high school for troubled youths, where he came under the influence of a language teacher, Pat Flannery, who taught him to read and became a father figure to him, guiding him to the Golden Gloves. Flannery is credited with giving Camacho his “Macho” nickname.
It’s tough to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Personally, unless I’m fed with overwhelming evidence and information, I’m one who attempts to never pass judgment on another individual. That said, I can’t help believing that that with the way Camacho continued to conduct his affairs, a premature ending to his life was in the cards. I’m getting close to 50 years old myself, and I can’t possibly come up with a scenario where you would find me sitting outside a bar in a car with 10 bags of cocaine… Life is about making good decisions. Making poor ones can affect your happiness and quality of life, making bad ones can kill you…