Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Shot Camacho's life support to end

Former boxing champion Hector 'Macho' Camacho, of Puerto Rico, was shot in the face as he sat in a car (AP/GFR Media, Primera Hora/El Nuevo Dia, Sebastian Perez)

The mother of Hector "Macho" Camacho says the shot former world champion boxer will be taken off life support, after three more of his sons arrive in Puerto Rico to be with him.

Maria Matias said she made the decision to have doctors remove him from life support, but the 50-year-old boxer's oldest son says he opposes that.

Ms Matias said three more of the boxer's sons would arrive in Puerto Rico to see him for the last time. She said her son "died three days ago and he's only alive now because of a machine". Doctors say the fighter is clinically brain dead

Camacho was shot in the face on Tuesday night in his home town of Bayamon as he and a friend sat in a Ford Mustang parked outside a bar. 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. Camacho's friend, identified as 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, was killed in the attack.

Doctors had initially said Camacho was expected to survive, but his condition worsened and his heart stopped briefly overnight on Tuesday.

Camacho was born in Bayamon, a city within the San Juan metropolitan area, but he grew up mostly in New York's Harlem neighbourhood, 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.

In recent years he 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 readily pose for photos with tourists who recognised him on the street.

Camacho battled drugs, alcohol and other problems throughout his life. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for burgling 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, but he ended up serving two weeks in jail for breaking the probation order.

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

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