Former champion boxer Héctor “Macho” Camacho is seriously wounded after being shot Tuesday outside the Puerto Rican capital.
At least one gunman opened fire on the 50-year-old and another man as they sat in a car in Bayamon. According to police, the other man, whose relationship to the former boxer wasn’t immediately known, was killed.
Camacho was rushed to Centro Medico, the trauma center in San Juan. According to hospital director Dr. Ernesto Torres, Camacho was in critical, but stable condition. Camacho’s spokesman said he was expected to survive.
The bullet apparently struck him in the jaw, but exited his head and lodged in his right shoulder, fracturing two vertebrae, said Torres. The doctor also stated that the boxer, who was trailed by drug and alcohol problems during a career involving some high-profile bouts, was at risk of paralysis from the shooting.
Camacho representative Steve Tannenbaum said he was told by friends at the hospital that the boxer would make it.
“This guy is a cat with nine lives,” said Tannenbaum. “He’s been through so much. If anybody can pull through it will be him.”
The fighter’s last title bought came against then-welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya in 1997, a loss by unanimous decision. Tannenbaum said he was going to fight two years ago in Denmark until his opponent pulled out and that they were looking at a possible bout in 2013.
“We were talking comeback even though he is 50,” said Tannenbaum. “I felt he was capable of it.”
Camacho was born in Bayamon. He won super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s. He has fought other high-profile bouts in his career against Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez and Sugar Ray Leonard. Camacho knocked out Leonard in 1997, ending what was the former champ’s final comeback attempt.
He has a career record of 79-5-3, with his most recent fight coming in 2009.
Despite his success in the ring, drug, alcohol and other problems have trailed Camacho since the prime of his boxing career. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi. While arresting him on the burglary charge in January 2005, police also found the drug ecstasy.
A judge eventually suspended all but one year of the sentence and gave Camacho probation. He wound up serving two weeks in jail, though, after violating the probation.
Camacho’s wife filed domestic abuse complaints twice against him. She eventually filed for divorce several years ago.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.