*He was known to come into the ring with flash, pomp, and circumstance.
He wore long trunks, with splits on each side, and tassels on his shoes. He had a fighting style that was full of fancy dancing and lateral movement with dexterity. He would stick and move in order to hit and not get hit.
He compiled a professional ring record of 79-6-3 and did not shy away from fighting anyone. He had a storied career that was full of flamboyance, but it all came to an end last week as he was sitting in a car outside a night club in San Juan, Puerto Rico with his childhood friend when someone walked up and shot both of them killing his friend instantly, and wounding the “Macho man” in the face and neck. He would hang on to dear life for the next three days until he suffered a heart attack while in a coma and the doctors declared him brain dead. Finally his mother decided to take him off of life support and he was done with this life.
Hector “Macho” Camacho as he was known, was loved by many and hated because of his flash, and flamboyance, but no matter what you had to say about him, he could really fight.
I mean, for a guy with the kind of ring record that he had certainly was someone to be reckoned with. He took on the likes of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, and even the great Julio Cesar Chavez (whom he lost to). He was one of those fighters that people came to see if he would lose just because they didn’t like all that flash he brought in the ring. But you know what, you got to give him credit for winning titles in three divisions.
It’s unfortunate that he had to die in the way that he did, ( we all have to answer to the choices that we make in life) but in this life there are so many challenges that we all have to face, sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed by them.
Not since the great Muhammad Ali did a fighter come into the boxing world with so much confidence and bravado.
He was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and from the age of three was raised in New York’s Spanish Harlem.
He had a stellar amateur career, in which he won three Golden Gloves titles. He won his first professional title by beating Rafael “Bazooka” Limon to capture the WBC jr. lightweight title. He then went up in weight to fight Jose Luis Rameriz for the WBC lightweight title. After dropping Rameriz in round three he went on to win the bout by a unanimous decision in twelve rounds.
Next came a match with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini for the WBO jr. welterweight title, and after twelve rounds he won by a split decision. Thus allowing him to capture titles in three weight divisions.
He was a house hold name in boxing and someone a lot of guys didn’t like to fight. But he brought skill and showmanship to the sport like no other before him.
And after his last bout in 2010 in which he lost to Saul Duran, he retired from the sport and appeared on the popular reality show “Mira Quien Baila!” which is a Spanish version of “Dancing with the Stars” as recently as March 2012.
And as much as he had become a cult like figure in Puerto Rico, he could never detach himself from the demons of the streets.
There are so many valuable lessons to be gained from taking a look at his life and death. So many of us are blessed with talent and ability, we should not waist it away. May God’s peace and blessings be upon him.
Muhammed Mubarak is a boxing writer and his column can also be seen in the Pace News, the Inland Valley News, and the High Desert Inland Valley News. He can be contacted at [email protected] for your comments.