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Boxer 'Macho' Camacho dies in Puerto Rico

AP
In this March 1, 1997, file photo, Hector Camacho exults as referee Joe Cortez stops the fight with Sugar Ray Leonard in the fifth round in Atlantic City, N.J. Hector 'Macho' Camacho, a boxer known for skill and flamboyance in the ring, as well as for a messy personal life and run-ins with the police, died Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, after being taken off life support. He was 50. AP Photo/Charles Rex Abrogast

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 11:00 a.m.
 

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 said.

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 2010 in Kissimmee, Fla.

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.”

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

No arrests and have been made, and authorities have not revealed many details beyond 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.

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