There is a select group of human beings without whom the history of Puerto Rican sports cannot be understood, one of them is undoubtedly Hector Luis Camacho Matias, better known as “El Macho” Camacho. A fantastic boxer who stood out for his quickness in the ring and flamboyant style. Boxing allowed him to make the most of his problematic character. It got him off the street and allowed him to have a memorable 30-year career.
He won 79 fights, lost six and drew three, never being knocked out. Besides that, Camacho was a world champion in three weight classes. He held the WBC super featherweight title from 1983 to 1984, the WBC lightweight title from 1985 to 1987, and the WBO junior welterweight title twice between 1989 and 1992.
Outside the ring, his life was troubled and controversial. In 1998, he was placed under a restraining order after threatening his wife Amy Camacho and their children, and in 2007 his marriage finally fell apart. On top of that, he was sentenced to prison for trying to burgle an electronic goods store in Mississippi and carrying the drug ecstasy on him. In 2012, he faced criminal charges for allegedly beating his teenage son and stomping on him while he was on the ground.
In 2011, Camacho was able to cheat death. When he was taking a friend to a nearby bar, he was attacked by two men who approached his vehicle and tried to carjack him. He drove away and the criminals at him three times. El Macho did not receive any impact.
However, on November 20, 2012, he disputed a second round against death, which he lost. That night, Camacho was sitting in the driver’s seat of his Ford Mustang with his friend Adrian Mojica Moreno. Around 7 p.m. (AST) Camacho was shot once in the jaw, being taken to San Pablo Hospital in Bayamon minutes later.
Despite the severity of the injuries, doctors were initially optimistic. However, a cardiac arrest buried all hope. After being declared brain dead, his mother Maria Matias announced that she would authorize the disconnection of his life support. Finally, on November 24, 2012, Hector Luis Camacho passed away after suffering another cardiac arrest. More than eight years after his death, his legacy lives on in the young Puerto Ricans who love boxing.
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