Boxer 'Macho' Camacho critical in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Former world boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho was in critical condition Wednesday after being shot in his native Puerto Rico, with doctors and his family expected to wrestle with whether to take him off life support after his condition worsened.
Doctors had said Camacho was expected to survive after he was shot in the face while sitting in a car 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.
“He's battling minute to minute. This is the most important fight of his life,” Torres told The Associated Press outside the hospital in the Puerto Rican capital.
Torres said that two specialists will examine the boxer to determine his level of brain activity.
The specialists will then consult with other doctors and Camacho's mother, who was expected to arrive from the U.S. mainland, to discuss whether he should be removed from life support, said Ismael Leandry, a longtime friend and former manager who was also at the hospital.
“We just have to wait to see if 'Macho' gets better. It's a hard battle,” Leandry told AP.
The 50-year-old Camacho was outside a bar in a parked car with a friend when he was shot in the face. The friend, whose name has not been released, was killed, police said. No arrests have been made and no motive has been disclosed.
Camacho was rushed to Centro Medico, where doctors initially said he was fortunate in that the bullet passed through his head and lodged in his shoulder. Torres did warn, however, that the boxer, who was trailed by drug and alcohol problems during a career that included some high-profile bouts, could be paralyzed from the shooting.
Steve Tannenbaum, who has also represented Camacho in the past, said he was told by friends at the hospital that the boxer would make it.
“This guy is a cat with nine lives. He's been through so much,” he said. “If anybody can pull through it will be him.”
Camacho has been considered one of the more controversial figures in boxing.
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 won super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s.
Camacho has fought 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 79-5-3, with his most recent fight coming in 2009.
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.
Twice his wife filed domestic abuse complaints against him, and she filed for divorce several years ago.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins need trade-deadline acquisitions to bring toughness
- Rossi: Pirates’ post-Martin plan comes with a catch or 2
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Former NFL player humbly helped others
- ‘Time for bold change,’ Wolf says in outlining $30B state budget
- CMU grad’s FunBites make healthy food appeal to kids
- Trade deals good way to add jobs, CEOs say
- Concurrent Technologies focuses on developing batteries for renewable energy, electric cars
- ‘Big Mo’ ranks with A-K’s gridiron greats
- Artist born without arms, legs gives Hampton students peek into her world
- Penguins notebook: Team exercising caution with Ehrhoff’s return from concussion