Hector Camacho is shot, boxing great expected to survive

9:25 AM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
Hector "Macho" Camacho, shown in 2006, was shot in Puerto Rico and is critically wounded, according to newspaper reports.
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(USA TODAY) -- Hector "Macho" Camacho, one of boxing's most memorable fighters, both for his skills in the ring and his flamboyance out of the ring, was shot and reported to be in serious condition late Tuesday in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, near San Juan.

The Associated Press reported that doctors and his spokesman said Camacho, 50, was expected to survive.

Dr. Ernesto Torres, the hospital director at the trauma center Centro Medico, told reporters that the bullet apparently struck Camacho in the jaw but exited his head and lodged in his right shoulder and fractured two vertebrae. The doctor said the boxer was at risk of paralysis from the shooting.

"Camacho's condition is extremely delicate," he told Telenoticias. "His physical condition will help him but we will see."

The newspaper El Nuevo Herald reported that Camacho, a three-time world champion who retired with a record of 79-6-3 with 38 KOs, and an unidentified man who was reported to be in the driver's seat, were shot in their car by assailants. AP reported that the driver had died, citing a police statement.

Camacho had bullet wounds in the neck and face.

According to the newspaper Primera Hora, police captain Reinaldo Santiago of Bayamón said Camacho and the driver were sitting in a Ford Mustang, when a gray bus pulled up and one of its occupants got out of the vehicle and shot the men multiple times.

The newspaper quoted homicide agent Jesus Alicea as saying police have one suspect in custody. A motive for the shooting is not yet known.

Camacho last fought in May 2010, losing a unanimous decision to Saul Duran.

During a career that spanned 28 years, he defeated such great fighters as Sugar Ray Leonard (5th-round TKO in 1997, Leonard's final comeback attempt). Roberto Duran, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and he also beat Freddie Roach in 1985. Roach is now a Hall of Fame trainer.

Camacho lost to the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Julio Cesar Chavez, the latter in a fight with Chavez during which Camacho suffered a brutal beating, but fought until the end.

His representative, Steve Tannenbaum, told the AP that Camacho was considering a comeback at the age of 50.

There are countless stories surrounding Camacho's boxing career. Hall of Fame promoter Don Chargin said he was promoting Camacho's fight against Roach in Sacramento in 1985. Camacho was paid $50,000 for the victory. But he asked Chargin to hold onto the money until he needed it. It was more than a year later, Chargin said, that Camacho finally called and asked for his money.

Camacho has also had myriad problems involving drugs and alcohol since he first retired from boxing.

In 2007, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi in 2005. Police also found the drug ecstacy when they arrested him. All but one year of the sentence was eventually suspended and Camacho was given probation. He eventually violated that probation and spent two weeks in jail.

He has had two domestic abuse complaints filed against him by his wife and she filed for divorce several years ago.

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