THE HECTOR CAMACHO I KNEW: PART 2 OF 5
San Francisco, CA- Since the Saturday edition of “Ring Talk Worldwide” when it was announced that the king of flamboyance Hector Camacho had been taken off Life Support and died after suffering a pair of early Saturday morning heart attacks, thoughts of the “Macho Man” race through my mind. In case you didn’t know as this may have gotten lost in the Thanksgiving week news slow down, the original “Macho Man” Hector Camacho is dead after being shot twice in the face last Tuesday in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
FACE SHOOTING COULD BE CLUE IN ITSELF
Having studied criminal science both as a Policeman and Investigator, getting shot in the face once can be accident. Twice, I would think not, unless of course the positioning was just right as Camacho sat shotgun (no pun intended) in a car of which the driver/owner (and Cocaine dealer) was also shot and killed. Hector Camacho Jr. blamed it on something like “Random Killings & Violence In Puerto Rico.” Well, again speaking from a law enforcement perch these deaths do not appear to be an act of Random Violence.
CAMACHO, MYSELF & RALPH KRAMDEN?
One of the most recognizable mugs in Puerto Rico, I’m more of the opinion that the shooter knew Camacho who may have been mouthing off. For one thing Camacho, myself and “The Honeymooners” Ralph Kramden all have is a “BIG MOUTH.” If you were to add Cocaine to the equation the result would be verbal Diarrhea. I’ve been around Camacho after he’d had a blast of Colombian Dust. At times he was “calm and mellow” while buzzed, others Hector was “off the chain!” That best describes Hector Camacho. Serene in one instance, apoplectic in another.
BACK TO ATLANTIC CITY & 1988
In this segment 2 of 5 on the Camacho I knew and liked, we go back to an evening where Hector was paired with a good fighter in Dominican Reyes Cruz (37-2) in a jr. welterweight (140 lbs.) contest after walking away from the clutches of Don King by dropping his WBC 135 lb. (lightweight) belt. This was a rare instance in which the fighter while representing himself for the most part, got the better of Don King.
USA CABLE SPECIAL ON SATURDAY NIGHT?
For some reason my memory says this was a USA Tuesday Night Fights card, only on Saturday night. Featuring a 31-0 former two-division champion in Camacho was a step up for the network that had Samoan heavyweight Jimmy Thunder on so often you wondered whom he had naked pictures of at USA. While talking with ex-USA Cable boxing guy Brad Jacobs a few weeks ago at the WBO Convention in Florida, Jacobs said the Tuesday Night Fights would draw on the average 1.5 million viewers.
DOMINICAN WAS DANDY AT TIMES
Reyes was bigger, both in height and body mass than Camacho who came into the ring wearing skirt like trunks something close to the color turquoise. The trunks came into play as Hector was dropped/pushed/shoved to the canvas and his britches were near bare as he lay horizontal for an instance. Although Camacho was still unbeaten and would win here, albeit a tad controversially with razor close scores of 96-95 twice & 97-95.
POST FIGHT CAMACHO WAS OBLIVIOUS TO HIS SLIDE
We went to a party late that night in which Camacho was feted. Talking with him about the fight, he didn’t give a spit on the fight or it’s closeness, just as long as he won. He teased about being pushed and not knocked down. In short, Hector Camacho couldn’t see the writing on the wall, that he was slipping as a fighter and yet didn’t know it. Hector was ultra-personal going around the room introducing himself to people he didn’t recognize. The most down to earth Camacho I had ever been around, and yes it appeared he was under the influence of Colombian Dust.
PHONED THE EX-WIFE ONCE!
After my ex-wife and I had a telephone exchange that was contrite, not polite, Camacho said he would call her and straighten things out (as if that was ever a possibility). But Hector was her favorite fighter and he did call the ex (who was star struck) and invited us both to his next fight. That never happened, but he did ask me the next time I saw him in Las Vegas if she was present. As likable a guy as there can be, Hector had his demons but he didn’t mind being benevolent with people he met.
TOMORROW: PART 3 & HIS RETIRING “SUGAR RAY” LEONARD
Look for part 3 of 5 tomorrow here at RingTalk.com If you’d like to read Part 1 Click For Part 1 Of Camacho Story