Barb Caffrey's Blog

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Archive for November 24th, 2012

Boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho, 50, to Be Taken Off Life Support

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Folks, this is one of the more disturbing sports stories to hit the wire in the past several months.

Boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho — a man who was one of the best boxers in his time, or any time — was sitting in a car with a friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno, a few days ago in his native Puerto Rico.  Thugs shot at the car, perhaps not even knowing Camacho was inside; they killed Moreno instantly and wounded Camacho severely.  The motivation behind this shooting appears to have been drugs, as nine small bags of cocaine were found on Moreno’s body, with a tenth bag found inside the car.

Doctors now say that Camacho is brain-dead.

Camacho’s mother, Maria Matias, has decided to take Camacho off life support, saying in this article from The Sporting News that:

“I lost my son three days ago. He’s alive only because of a machine,” Matias said. “My son is not alive. My son is only alive for the people who love him,” she added.

(Camacho’s) three other sons were expected to arrive from the U.S. mainland around midnight Friday. “Until they arrive, we will not disconnect the machine,” Matias said.

However, the one son of Camacho’s who is already there, Hector “Machito” Camacho, Jr., does not wish his father to be taken off life support.  And other family and friends continue to wrestle with Camacho’s mother’s decision, even though she’s the one who has the final say — and assuredly, she’s made up her mind.

Here’s a bit more from the TSN article, which explains Camacho’s significance to the world of boxing:

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 had a career record of 79-6-3.

I remember watching Camacho fight.  There was an ease and fluidity to his movement, yes, but a deliberate intelligence and cunning, too.  He was often underestimated due to his “Macho” nickname; fighters would learn, to their everlasting chagrin, that Camacho did his homework long before he ever stepped foot in the ring.

Or to put it another way, Camacho did not depend on bravado to win in the ring; instead, he used his mind as well as his fists to forge an impressive legacy.

Camacho’s later life was marred by a 2007 conviction for burglary (he served two weeks in jail plus probation) and his ex-wife (the New York Times, in this article, says Camacho had only one)  swore out two complaints of domestic abuse before finally divorcing him.  He also abused both drugs and alcohol, though there is no evidence that Camacho was on any sort of drugs at the time of the shooting.

Camacho’s sisters have said that they are willing to fly him to New York in order for him to be buried where he spent much of his adolescence — Harlem.  But it’s unclear at this time as to what the final disposition of Camacho’s body will be, as no firm decision has been made regarding organ donation or anything else according to the latest articles from TSN, Yahoo Sports, and other sources.

One thing’s for certain: Camacho was at the wrong place at the wrong time, or he’d not be brain-dead right now.

What a terrible end to an otherwise remarkable life.


UPDATE: Camacho was taken off life support this morning, had a heart attack, and died.

A funeral is pending in New York, and a wake may be scheduled in Puerto Rico later according to this article from the Chicago Tribune.  He is survived by his mother, father, four siblings (three sisters and a brother), four children — Hector, Jr., Taylor, Christian, and Justin, and two grandchildren.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 24, 2012 at 5:23 am