Originally Posted by MikeRo1972
As a little kid Camacho was my idol and the reason I fell in love with boxing. My dad called me "Macho" because he wanted me to grow to be a boxer like him some day.
When I was kid living in NYC in the 80s Camacho was the definition of a hood superstar. Nuyoricans loved him, the island loved him. He was flamboyant and had all those natural gifts. But as he got older we started to see camacho battle his personal demons. As I became a teenager I no longer idolized him as I saw what the drug epidemic was doing to inner city NY but I never hated Hector. He was like the knucklehead uncle, or cousin, or neighbor all of us had as kids. He did damage to himself but he was seemingly loving to everyone around him. This was a STAR that you could walk up to on the street and he would placate you with convo, an autograph, a picture, whatever you wanted. He had his problems, his wife could tell you about it I'm sure. But I could never hate him.
As a matter of fact I remember watching "Carlito's Way" and thinking this is symbolic for Macho's life. NY hood rich star everyone loves who gets done in by something he helped create. I just wish the endings were different.
Now as an adult I realize he was more knucklehead than flamboyant star, if he had more dicipline he might have been a Puerto Rican ATG level fighter. I realize in retrospect Rosario ruined him in a sense because Macho became overly defensive after that brutal win. But it is what it is. I choose to remember him as I did when I was a little kid and pray God have mercy on his soul. I hope he and St. Peter work it out at the gates because for all his short comings, for all his sins...he was a good dude.
Reading your story I began to reflect on my recollections of Camacho. We were only a few years apart in age, he being a little older. Growing up in upper-Manhattan, near the Bronx, and being a boxing fan, I obviously heard a few things about Hector. In fact, I recall that he dated a girl in the class above me in high school. A friend of mine, in her class, told me Camacho showed up at their graduation wearing his (then) omnipresent "Macho" nameplate. This might not sound like anything to some, but we attended a Catholic high school, where the boys wore suit and tie daily, and the girls wore the classic Catholic schoolgirl uniform. lol
I didn't like Camacho. I wanted Rosario to beat him and cheered when Chavez achieved the feat. I've never been a fan of loudmouth boxers and cringe when some of the guys I follow push the envelope. Hector was about as loud as they came. lol For better or for worse, you could say that Camacho always "kept it real". That flamboyant persona you saw on television was no act. His wild ways carried over to his life outside the ring. It claimed his life like so many inner-city kids I knew growing up. It took a lot longer, in Hector's case, but it seems the outcome was, sadly, inevitable.
I spoke to my dad, who's not a big boxing fan, on the phone a couple of days ago. He asked me if I'd heard about Camacho. When I replied in the affirmative, he sounded genuinely sad. I was somewhat surprised at this. Not only isn't my father a big fan, but he doesn't like guys with Hector's persona any more than I do. Time has a way of smoothing things over. If we mature, we become more forgiving, more accepting.