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Boxing | International

Hector – a warrior to the end

One of Hector Camacho's sons was the only member of the former champion's family who was still hoping for a miracle right until his father's death on Saturday.

Camacho, a Puerto Rican ring legend, was declared brain dead on Thursday after being shot on Tuesday. He finally died on Saturday when the life-supprt machines were switched off.

His mother, Maria Matia, accepted the doctors' verdict that the three-time world champion could not recover. But Camacho's eldest son, also Hector, insisted that "the fight is not over until the final round. He will stay connected to the machines that are keeping him alive until the end."

"Doctors make mistakes. God does not make mistakes," Camacho Jr said. "He is a fighter and the fight will continue until the end."

Hours after doctors declared his 50-year-old father brain dead, Camacho Jr said: "It's up to God. Papi was a great fighter, a warrior. Now he is fighting for his life and we have to let him fight until the end."

His father was shot in the neck outside a liquor store on Tuesday while sitting in a car with a friend, Alberto Mojica Moreno, 49, who was killed. It was unclear if they were targeted or simply caught in a random act of violence.


Doctors said the bullet had damaged three arteries that run through the neck. The bullet struck him in the jaw and lodged in his right shoulder, fracturing two vertebrae on the way.

Camacho was one of the most colourful boxers of the 1980s. He compiled a career record of 79-6-3 with 38 knockouts. His opponents included Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Ray Leonard, Felix Trinidad, Ray Mancini and Greg Haugen.

his last title bout was against welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya in 1997. He lost on points.

He was going to fight in Denmark two years ago but his opponent pulled out. His was hoping to make a comeback in 2013.

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.

He knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard in 1997, ending what was that former champ's final comeback attempt.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2007 for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi. While arresting him on a burglary charge in January 2005, police also found him in possession of the drug ecstasy.

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

Earlier this year, US police charged Camacho with child abuse for allegedly slamming his son into a floor at his ex-wife's home in Florida. He was accused of hitting and stomping on his son, police documents say.

The boxer, originally from Puerto Rico, in recent years has made appearances on two reality television programmes, Mira Quien Baila (Look Who's Dancing) and Es Macho Time.

His wife twice filed domestic abuse complaints against him, and eventually filed for divorce.


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