No one can ever accuse Hector Camacho of not being a fighter. Sadly, however, this was a fight that even he could not be macho enough to overcome. As expected, the former three-division boxing champion was removed from life support today after suffering cardiac arrest earlier this morning and passed away shortly thereafter. His family had been struggling with the decision to disconnect the respirator that was keeping the 50-year old alive for three days at the Rio Piedras Medical Center in San Juan.
Camacho was involved in a drive-by shooting on Tuesday evening in his native Bayamon, Puerto Rico and pronounced clinically brain dead by doctors on Thursday. Camacho, a passenger in a car reportedly transporting ten bags of cocaine, was shot in the face and suffered insufficient blood flow to the brain as a result of the bullet tearing through three major arteries in his neck. The driver of the car, 49-year old Adrian Mojica Moreno who was a childhood friend of Camacho, was killed at the scene.
Despite pessimism of the medical staff, family members held onto hope for a miracle and were willing to give the three-division world champion a fighting chance before making the final gut wrenching decision to remove Camacho from life support. However, the sad reality set in with each passing day.
"I lost my son three days ago. He's alive only because of a machine," Camacho's mother, Maria Matias, said Friday night. "My son is not alive. My son is only alive for the people who love him."
A second heart attack suffered since the shooting was the final blow. Camacho was then removed from life support and pronounced dead at 1:40 am this morning.
Plans for a funeral, possibly in New York where the fighter grew up with a public wake in Puerto Rico being considered, are in the process of being made.
In addition to his mother and several family members, Camacho leaves behind four children, including his eldest son and professional fighter Hector Camacho Jr.
He also leaves behind a legacy of fights with some of the greatest names in boxing, including Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Julio Cesar Chavez, Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and Edwin Rosario. His professional record was 79-6-3, 38 KO's.
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