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Boxer Hector 'Macho' Camacho is brain dead after shooting; was he victim of drug war?

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  1. Rob Cypher
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Doctors say famed Puerto Rican boxer Hector 'Macho' Camacho is clinically "brain dead" after being shot in the face.

    Dr. Ernesto Torres said at a news conference Thursday that doctors are still performing tests on Camacho before meeting with his family. Torres had said late Wednesday that Camacho was showing irregular and intermittent brain activity.

    The 50-year-old Camacho was shot as he and a friend sat in a Ford Mustang parked outside a bar Tuesday night. Police spokesman Alex Diaz has said officers found nine small bags of cocaine in the friend's pocket, and a 10th bag open inside the car.

    Doctors initially said Camacho was in critical but stable condition and was expected to survive after he was shot Tuesday night in his hometown of Bayamon. But his condition worsened overnight and his heart stopped at one point, said Dr. Ernesto Torres, director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan.

    "We just have to wait to see if 'Macho' gets better. It's a hard battle," Ismael Leandry, a longtime friend and former manager who was at the hospital, told the AP.

    Torres said Camacho's mother, Maria Matias, spent about 20 minutes with her son, one of the most dynamic boxing personalities of his era, and was expected to return for a second visit Wednesday night.

    "His mother came, and she is devastated," he said. "She knows the prognosis is not at all favorable."

    A godson, Widniel Adorno, said the family had discussed the possibility of organ donation but no final decision had been made.

    Camacho's friend, identified as 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, was killed in the incident. Police said two assailants fled in an SUV, but no arrests had been made and no motive had been disclosed.

    Camacho was rushed to Centro Medico, where doctors initially said the bullet passed through his jaw and lodged in his shoulder. Torres said the bullet damaged three of the four main arteries in Camacho's neck and broke two vertebrae, which could leave him paralyzed if he were to survive.

    Friends and family members waited anxiously at the hospital, fondly recalling Camacho's high-energy personality and his powerful skills in the ring.

    "He was like a little brother who was always getting into trouble," said former featherweight champion Juan Laporte, a fellow Puerto Rican who grew up and trained with Camacho in New York.

    Camacho has been considered one of the more controversial figures in boxing but also popular among fans and those who worked in the sport.

    "The Macho Man was a promoter's dream," renowned promoter Don King told the AP. "He excited boxing fans around the world with his inimitable style. He was a nice, amiable guy away from the ring."

    King had promoted Camacho but was caught off guard by news of the attack on the former champion. "What a tragedy this is," he said. "I'm very sorry for Hector and his family. My prayers go out to him."

    The fighter's last title bout came against then-welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya in 1997, a loss by unanimous decision. He last fought in May 2010, losing to Saul Duran. Tannenbaum said they were looking at a possible bout in 2013.

    "We were talking comeback even though he is 50," he said. "I felt he was capable of it."

    Camacho was born in Bayamon, one of the cities that make up the San Juan metropolitan area

    He left Puerto Rico as a child and grew up mostly in New York's Harlem neighborhood, one of the reasons he later earned the nickname "the Harlem Heckler."

    He went on to win super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s.

    Camacho has fought in other high-profile bouts in his career against Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez and Sugar Ray Leonard. Camacho knocked out Leonard in 1997, ending what was that former champ's final comeback attempt.

    Camacho has a career record of 79-6-3.

    In recent years, he has divided his time between Puerto Rico and Florida, appearing regularly on Spanish-language television as well as on a reality show called "Es Macho Time!" on YouTube. In San Juan, he had been living in the beach community of Isla Verde, where he would obligingly pose for photos with tourists who recognized him on the street, said former pro boxer Victor "Luvi" Callejas, a neighbor and friend.

    "We all know what Macho Camacho has done, but in the last couple of months he hasn't been in any trouble," Callejas said as he kept vigil outside the hospital. "He has been taking it easy. He's been upbeat."

    Drug, alcohol and other problems have trailed Camacho since the prime of his boxing career. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi. While arresting him on the burglary charge in January 2005, police also found the drug ecstasy.

    A judge eventually suspended all but one year of the sentence and gave Camacho probation. He wound up serving two weeks in jail, though, after violating that probation.

    His wife also filed domestic abuse complaints against him twice before their divorce several years ago.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/boxing/2012/11/22/hector-macho-camacho-shot-brain-dead/1720845/

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  1. Rob Cypher
    Camacho's Mother Says Life Support To End; His Eldest Son Against Move

    [IMGR="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=29888&stc=1&d=1353733701[/IMGR] SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Hector "Macho" Camacho will be taken off life support, his mother said Friday night, indicating she would have doctors do that Saturday. It was a decision the former championship boxer's eldest son opposed.

    The boxer's mother, Maria Matias, told reporters outside the hospital where Camacho lay unconscious since being shot in the face that she had decided doctors should remove life support, but only after three of his sons arrived in Puerto Rico early Saturday and had a chance to see him a last time.

    "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.

    The 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.

    Another news conference was scheduled for Saturday morning at Centro Medico, the main trauma center for San Juan.

    The former champion's mother has the final say in the matter, but his eldest son, Hector Jr., said he wants to keep his father alive.

    "He's going to fight until the end. My father is a boxer," the son said.

    Doctors have said Camacho is clinically brain dead from a shooting Tuesday night in his hometown of Bayamon. But relatives and friends told The Associated Press they were still wrestling with whether to remove him from life support.

    "It is a very difficult decision, a very delicate decision," former pro boxer Victor "Luvi" Callejas, a longtime friend, said in a phone interview. "The last thing we lose is hope and faith. If there is still hope and faith, why not wait a little more?"

    Aida Camacho, one of the boxer's aunts, said in an interview that the family could decide by late Friday whether to donate his organs.

    As some relatives and friends continued to pray for a miracle, condolences kept coming in for Camacho's family and preparations began for memorials and a funeral Mass.

    Gov. Luis Fortuno lamented what he called a sudden loss. "'Macho' will always be remembered for his spontaneity and charisma in and out of the ring," he said.

    Also offering condolences was governor-elect Alejandro Garcia Padilla, who defeated Fortuno in November.

    "The life of Macho Camacho, like other great athletes of ours, united the country," he said. "We celebrated his triumphs in the streets and we applauded him with noble sportsmanship when he didn't prevail."

    Camacho was shot as he sat in a car with a friend, 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, who was killed in the attack. Police spokesman Alex Diaz said officers found nine small bags of cocaine in the friend's pocket and a 10th bag open inside the car.

    Police reported no arrests and said investigators continued to interview potential witnesses. Capt. Rafael Rosa told reporters Friday that they are tracking down several leads, but added that very few witnesses were cooperating. He declined to say whether police had identified any suspects.

    Hector Camacho Jr. lamented the violence that grips Puerto Rico, a U.S. island territory of nearly 4 million people that reported a record 1,117 homicides last year.

    "Death, jail, drugs, killings," he said. "That's what the streets are now."

    Camacho's sisters have said they would like to fly Camacho's body to New York and bury him there. Camacho grew up mostly in Harlem, earning the nickname the "Harlem Heckler."

    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.

    Camacho battled drug, alcohol and other problems throughout his life. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison on burglary charges, but a judge eventually suspended all but one year of the sentence and gave Camacho probation. He wound up serving two weeks in jail, though, after violating that probation. A wife also filed domestic abuse complaints against him twice before their divorce.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/23/hector-camacho-life-support-boxer-mother_n_2180167.html
  2. Rob Cypher
    Hector 'Macho' Camacho dies at 50

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Hector "Macho" Camacho was a brash fighter with a mean jab and an aggressive style, launching himself furiously against some of the biggest names in boxing. And his bad-boy persona was not entirely an act, with a history of legal scrapes that began in his teens and continued throughout his life.

    The man who once starred at the pinnacle of boxing, winning several world titles, died Saturday after being ambushed in a parking lot back in the Puerto Rican town of Bayamon where he was born. Packets of cocaine were found in the car in which he was shot.

    Camacho, 50, left behind a reputation for flamboyance -- leading fans in cheers of "It's Macho time!" before fights -- and for fearsome skills as one of the top fighters of his generation.

    "He excited boxing fans around the world with his inimitable style," promoter Don King told The Associated Press.

    Camacho fought professionally for three decades, from his humble debut against David Brown at New York's Felt Forum in 1980 to an equally forgettable swansong against Saul Duran in Kissimmee, Florida, in 2010.

    In between, he fought some of the biggest stars spanning two eras, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and Roberto Duran.

    "Hector was a fighter who brought a lot of excitement to boxing," said Ed Brophy, executive director of International the Boxing Hall of Fame. "He was a good champion. Roberto Duran is kind of in a class of his own, but Hector surely was an exciting fighter that gave his all to the sport."

    Camacho's family moved to New York when he was young and he grew up in Spanish Harlem, which at the time was rife with crime. Camacho landed in jail as a teenager before turning to boxing, which for many kids in his neighborhood provided an outlet for their aggression.

    "This is something I've done all my life, you know?" Camacho told The Associated Press after a workout in 2010. "A couple years back, when I was doing it, I was still enjoying it. The competition, to see myself perform. I know I'm at the age that some people can't do this no more."

    Former featherweight champion Juan Laporte, a friend since childhood, described Camacho as "like a little brother who was always getting into trouble," but otherwise combined a friendly nature with a powerful jab.

    "He's a good human being, a good hearted person," Laporte said as he waited with other friends and members of the boxer's family outside the hospital in San Juan after the shooting. "A lot of people think of him as a cocky person but that was his motto ... Inside he was just a kid looking for something."

    Laporte lamented that Camacho never found a mentor to guide him outside the boxing ring.

    "The people around him didn't have the guts or strength to lead him in the right direction," Laporte said. "There was no one strong enough to put a hand on his shoulder and tell him how to do it."

    George Lozada, a longtime friend from New York who flew to Puerto Rico on Saturday, recalled that just hours after he was released from prison after serving a murder sentence, he received a call from Camacho, who was waiting outside his apartment in a black Porsche.

    "He said, 'Come down, I'm taking you shopping,' " Lozada said, wiping away tears.

    "Because of him, man, I got what I got today," he said, pointing to pictures on his smartphone of his 6-year-old daughter. "Because of Hector, I stopped the drug scene ... He's helped so many people."

    Drug, alcohol and other problems trailed Camacho himself after the prime of his boxing career. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi. While arresting him on the burglary charge in January 2005, police also found the drug ecstasy.

    A judge eventually suspended all but one year of the sentence and gave Camacho probation. He wound up serving two weeks in jail, though, after violating that probation.

    Camacho's former wife, Amy, obtained a restraining order against him in 1998, alleging he threatened her and one of their children. The couple, who had two children at the time, later divorced.

    He divided his time between Puerto Rico and Florida in recent years, appearing on Spanish-language television as well as on a reality show called "Es Macho Time!" on YouTube.

    Inside the boxing ring, Camacho flourished. He won three Golden Gloves titles as an amateur, and after turning pro, he quickly became a contender with an all-action style reminiscent of other Puerto Rican fighters.

    Long promoted by King, Camacho won his first world title by beating Rafael Limon in a super-featherweight bout in Puerto Rico on Aug. 7, 1983. He moved up in weight two years later to capture a lightweight title by defeating Jose Luis Ramirez, and successfully defended the belt against fellow countryman Edwin Rosario.

    The Rosario fight, in which the victorious Camacho still took a savage beating, persuaded him to scale back his ultra-aggressive style in favor of a more cerebral, defensive approach.

    The change in style was a big reason that Camacho, at the time 38-0, lost a close split decision to Greg Haugen at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in 1991.

    Camacho won the rematch to set up his signature fight against Mexico's Julio Cesar Chavez, this time at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Camacho was roundly criticized for his lack of action, and the Mexican champion won a lopsided unanimous decision to retain the lightweight title.

    "Even though people say I beat him easily, it wasn't that way," Chavez told Mexico's ESPN-Radio Formula this week. "He was a very fast fighter, he faced everything and it was very hard for me."

    "He revolutionized boxing," Chavez said. "It's a shame he got mixed up in so many problems."

    After that loss, Camacho became the name opponent for other rising contenders, rather than the headliner fighting for his own glory.

    He lost a unanimous decision to another young Puerto Rican fighter, Trinidad, and was soundly defeated by De La Hoya. In 1997, Camacho ended Leonard's final comeback with a fifth-round knockout. It was Camacho's last big victory even though he boxed for another decade.

    The fighter's last title bout came in 1997 against welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya, who won by unanimous decision. Camacho's last fight was his defeat by Saul Duran in May 2010. He had a career record of 79-6-3.

    Doctors pronounced Camacho dead on Saturday after he was removed from life support at his family's direction. He never regained consciousness after at least at least one gunman crept up to the car in a darkened parking lot and opened fire.

    No arrests have been made, and authorities have not revealed many details beyond the facts that police found cocaine in the car and that the boxer and his friend, who was killed at the scene, had no idea the attack was coming. "Apparently, this was a surprise," said Alex Diaz, a police spokesman.

    Survivors include his mother; three sisters, Raquel, Estrella and Ester; a brother, Felix; and four sons, Hector Jr., Taylor, Christian and Justin.

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/story/_/id/8667942/hector-macho-camacho-removed-life-support-dies-50
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