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Boxer Hector Camacho Dies After Being Taken Off Life Support

Hector Camacho
John Parra, Getty Images

Hector Camacho, a world championship boxer known for his fast hand speed and audacious behavior, died Saturday in San Juan, P.R. after being taken off life support.The death of Camacho, 50, came four days after he was shot while sitting in a parked car in San Juan. He was declared brain dead on Thursday.

Police are still investigating the incident, which claimed the life of 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, a friend of Camacho’s. Police said two men fled the scene of the shooting in a sport utility vehicle. Authorities said that a total of 10 bags of cocaine were found inside the car, with nine of them in Moreno’s pockets.

Nicknamed ‘Macho,’ Camacho was born in Puerto Rico, later moving to New York’s Spanish Harlem. After turning pro in 1980, Camacho became a world champion in three weight classes: super featherweight, lightweight and junior welterweight.

A puncher who won with dizzying quickness, Camacho often landed multiple punches in retort to opponents’ single blows. Rarely missing on a punch in his prime, Camacho sometimes jabbed opponents in the back and sides after reaching around them.

Wearing his hair with a signature curl in the front, Camacho’s flamboyant showmanship often overshadowed his boxing skills. He frequently disrupted pre-fight news conferences with outlandish behavior meant to grab headlines. Camacho consistently entered the ring in attention-grabbing garb such as a gladiator costume, a diaper and a dress.

Among Camacho’s biggest wins were victories over Edwin Rosario for the WBC lightweight championship in 1986 and Ray Mancini for the WBO junior welterweight championship in 1989. Camacho also defeated superstars Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard near the end of their respective boxing careers. He lost title fights to Julio César Chávez in 1991, Félix Trinidad in 1994 and Oscar De La Hoya in 1997. Camacho’s final fight was a loss to Saul Duran in 2010. He finished with a career record of 79-6-3.

Camacho dealt with a variety of drug, alcohol and other problems both during and after his boxing career. In 2007, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on burglary charges, though that sentence was later lessened to probation.

Camacho is survived by his mother and father; three sisters; a brother; four sons and two grandsons. His son, Hector Jr., boxes professionally.

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