Héctor Camacho’s current fight puts into context the true meaning of wins and losses. Hours after being shot, the former world champion boxer was declared brain-dead, Puerto Rico's El Nuevo Dia is reporting.
The fighter, who went by the nickname “Macho,” was shot in the head and neck on Tuesday night in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, after gunmen fired on the car in which the fighter was a passenger. The driver of the vehicle died.
According to reports, Camacho, 50, was taken off life support. The bullets missed his brain, fractured two vertebrae.
“His recovery would be a miracle," a doctor told the paper. "Medically, there is nothing we can do."
After suffering cardiac arrest Wednesday, the reality of Camacho’s situation seems grim. Hospital director Dr. Ernesto Torres has said his prognosis is “very poor.”
Members of the Camacho family were expected to arrive on the island Wednesday morning.
Social media added to the confusion and misinformation surrounding this developing story. An entry about Camacho on crowdsourced encyclopedia Wikipedia was briefly updated with incorrect information on Tuesday and stated that Camacho had died.
There are conflicting reports on the developing story. Reportedly, the police have a suspect or person of interest in custody.
The latest developments mark another sad – and potentially final -- chapter in the life of the talented fighter. Camacho went 79-6-3 with 38 knockouts in a career that spanned 30 years. He held featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight titles in both the WBO and WBC. His greatest success came during the 1980s and early ‘90s, although he mounted several comebacks as recently as 2010.
He faced some of the sports greatest fighters including Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya.
In recent years, Camacho’s struggles with drugs and alcohol, as well as domestic violence charges, landed the fighter in the news.
The shooting also reflects a serious issue that is largely under reported by U.S. media. Homicide is a major problem in Puerto Rico. The island territory’s murder rate is five times higher than the U.S. average. Per capita, Puerto Rico has 26 murders for every 100,000 people -- exceeding Mexico’s much-covered homicide crisis.
Drug-related violence is estimated to account for 50 to 80 percent of the murders in Puerto Rico. In 2011, 1,136 people were murdered on the island with a population of 3.7 million. The violence has continued well into 2012. In just a single weekend in July, 19 people were murdered.
The motive in the Camacho shooting is not yet known. However, the car’s driver, Alberto Yamil Mojica Moreno, is one more casualty of the Puerto Rico’s homicide epidemic. The outcome for Camacho is still too early to tell.
Sports are often defined by statistics and record books, but no one wants to see Camacho become a statistic because of this tragedy.
Maria Burns Ortiz is a freelance sports journalist, chair of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists' Sports Task Force, and a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. Follow her on Twitter: @BurnsOrtiz