Boxing champion Hector 'Macho' Camacho dies after shooting

W.A.T.E.R. 17 Special to the AmNews | 1/3/2013, 4:09 p.m.

Camacho captured three world titles.

Another three-division champ, Iran "The Blade" Barkley, mentioned the camaraderie he, Hector, Davey Moore and Pee Wee Rucker shared before remembering his fallen friend.

"Camacho was a flashy guy who stood his ground. He was a jokester, but when you made him mad, he was serious, he'd jump on you and beat your butt. If you got smart with him, he'd put you in check."

Boxing trainer Tumbler Davis reflects: "Camacho was the first one to come into the ring with the costumes and masks. Roy Jones and others followed. He was a successful southpaw who inspired others to fight lefty. Nobody was fighting southpaw before Camacho."

Thrill shares a similar sentiment, recalling that in the 1980s, "There were only two superstars in the state of New York--Tyson and Camacho. They were above boxing--they were personalities. This kid was born to be one."

During the 1980s and '90s, few boxers were as flamboyantly appealing as the Harlem Heckler. He added showmanship to boxing. People often tuned in to see his ring attire as well as his performances. Few, if any, were as talented or adept at self-promotion, and he played an important role in popularizing the sport with his bad boy persona.

A Bayamon police report suggests that the former world champion was shot as a result of a low-level drug deal gone sour. Some speculate that Camacho was not the intended target and ended up getting hit with a stray. Police say two men fled the scene in a gray SUV. Nine packets of cocaine were found in the driver's pocket and another opened inside the car.

Thrill mentioned others who positively contributed to Camacho's career: Bobby McQuillar, Harold Weston, Rob Lee and Tony Tompkins, "People who really stood up for him." He then recalled the disappointment of mega-bouts that fell through with Ray Mancini, Aaron Pryor and Roger Mayweather, before proclaiming, "He was the only guy that could carry boxing after Leonard stepped down."

In closing: "This shouldn't of happened ... this kid should've been in movies after he finished fighting. I'm so mad that I never got to say thank you for working with him, and I loved him as a brother, and I was proud for what he accomplished."

People will celebrate his life.

The Macho Man was expected to be taken on Thursday to New York City, which will be his final resting place.

Services are scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Ortiz Funeral Home, 204 E. 116th St., Harlem. Call 212-722-3512 for more information.