Hector Camacho died on Saturday at a hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, days after he was shot in the face. The loved, but troubled boxer was one of the most colorful and charismatic boxers of his generation.
Camacho was shot on Tuesday while sitting in a Ford Mustang with a friend. The former boxer’s friend died from his injuries as well. The former boxer was initially expected to survive the shooting, but his health went downhill on Tuesday night.
He never regained consciousness after the gunshot and life-support machines were disconnected on Saturday after doctors announced he was brain dead, reports The Washington Post.
Packets of cocaine were discovered in the car with Camacho and his friend, but police have made no arrests in the shooting so far. “Macho” Camacho was considered one of the brightest stars of his era. He was able to perform in the ring with dazzling speed and had an unorthodox, crowd-pleasing style that helped him win his first world title at the age of 21.
The former boxer also carried with him a theatrical, dynamic presence that helped add to his reputation as one of the leading attractions of boxing.
During his career, Hector Camacho would often enter the ring to chants of “Macho Man.” He would circle his fist in the air and lead the crowd in shouting, “It’s Macho Time!” He was also known for wearing outlandish costumes, including sequined loincloths and visored gladiator helmets. He even wore a full feathered headdress.
Larry Merchant, a boxing analyst for HBO, once spoke about Camacho, calling him a “Rambo-Liberace — he-man and showman.” Merchant added:
“He is one of those rare athletes, as Muhammed Ali once put … who dares to be great, his speed of hand matched only by his speed of foot — and mouth. A dynamic package of energy and talent and raw nerve and arrogance.”
The New York Times notes that Hector Camacho was shot in the left side of the face on Tuesday. The bullet entered his jaw and passed through three of the four main arteries in his neck, before it lodged in his shoulder. The lack of oxygen caused by the damaged arteries ultimately lead to him becoming brain dead.
Two men fled the scene in a sport utility vehicle, but police have not found them yet. Camacho led a troubled life, despite his successful boxing career. His childhood was filled with brawls, serial shoplifting, drugs, and stealing cars. He was arrested multiple times on charged that included domestic abuse, possession of a controlled substance, burglary, and even trying to take an M-16 rifle through customs.
Despite his troubled side, Hector Camacho, who tragically died on Saturday, was a boxing legend.