Friday, November 23, 2012
More than a flash, wild costumes, theater, Hector had a career record of 79-6-3. He was indestructible. He won Super Lightweight, Lightweight and Junior Welterweight World Titles in the 1980s.
He took on the best. Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Ray Leonard. He knocked out Leonard in 1997, ending the former champ's final comeback attempt, knocking him into retirement.
We couldn't wait for his entrance. A real boxer, it was hard to watch him lose to Oscar De La Hoya.
But it was when he met met Edwin Rosario, Madison Square Garden, HBO. He was Hector Macho Camacho for the first four rounds, on your feet, yelling, but falling to your knees, holding your breath for five and six. Then the Skill and Savvy of a life time got him the middle rounds. But Rosario came back. Eleventh and Twelfth. Sure it was close, but more than guts, it was heart that made the difference. A split decision, but he was still the World Champ.
Then in Las Vegas, 1992, Julio Cesar Chavez. Even though he lost in a unanimous decision, it was dressing like Captain America when he entering the arena that everybody remembers.
He was a man I remember as a kid in New York when my dad got me and my brother into boxing at the Boys Club up in East Harlem. My dad helped out there training guys to box. That's when we met Hector. I remember Dad saying, 'You see that kid? He's going to be a World Champion.' And he was right, more than one division.
Hector trained in Jefferson Park, out on East 111th Street. We always waited for him when he came running around the corner and when he got close we would run with him and try to pass him. It was all for fun but he was a whole lot faster. He'd be way ahead and would stop and wait for us to catch up. Then he'd take off with a big smile. World Champion waiting for us kids. Thank God for those wonderful times.
He was a man just sitting in the car. A Ford Mustang, parked out side the bar like it was supposed to. I talk to the driver while two guys do the deal through the other window. Way they go down. But this time, it wasn't right? They don't have the stuff, or they want more money, or something? I see them jump back, and they're shooting, so I close my eyes, and I shoot too. I don't ask no questions. I run to get away. I never look back.
I've heard the name? Macho Camacho? Some kind of boxer long time ago, I think. All I know. He's just another drug guy to me. Not the first time I had to shoot some guy. Shooting's part of what you have to do sometimes. Part of doing this.
They say he's brain dead. Say the bullet entered his jaw and hit a bunch of arteries in his neck, then sticks in his shoulder. It stopped the blood to his brain.
And, like I thought, they found nine bags of cocaine in the other guy's pocket, and a 10th one open, under the seat. He got killed, outright. Yeah, we got him, too.
He was a Boxing Champion, huh?
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