Puerto Rican boxing legend and multiple-time champion Hector "Macho" Camacho was pronounced dead Saturday morning at the age of 50, according to the Associated Press (via The Mercury News).
Camacho had been shot in the face four days prior while sitting in a car outside a bar with his friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno—who died at the scene—but was fighting to stay alive. After being declared brain dead by the doctors, Camacho’s family decided to remove the boxing star from life support Saturday.
In the AP’s report of the incident, the local police said “Mojica had nine small bags of cocaine in his pocket and a 10th bag was found open in the car.”
Despite a tumultuous life that ended far too soon, the boxing and sports world remembers the legend fondly. Whether it was because of his brutal in-ring style or his happy-go-lucky attitude and swagger away from the ring, his zest for life was contagious.
This is a devastatingly sad story, and the boxing community has once again come together to grieve the loss of a great fighter.
I think that he was a star from the very first time that I saw him, when I was working with HBO, doing color commentary. I noticed that he had that thing, man. He had that 'X-factor.’ He could be very crude and sexy and all of those things. But he could also fight. He had incredible hand-speed, incredible power and he was a showman.
Legendary fighter and promoter Oscar De La Hoya took to Twitter to express how much admiration he had for Camacho and how he handled his fights:
If boxers today had half the heart Camacho had, boxing would be in a better place. He fought everybody in their prime.— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) November 23, 2012
Manny Pacquiao’s trainer and former combatant of Camacho, Freddie Roach, spoke to RingTV.com about the former fighter:
I think that he was a great athlete, and if he stayed on the straight and narrow, he could have been, pound-for-pound, one of the best fighters in the world. I think that he would have been like a Manny Pacquiao. I think that he would have used his speed as his best asset. I think that he could be a contender in any era.
Boxing stars weren’t the only ones coming out to share their well wishes, though. UFC personality Joe Rogan also talked about what it was that made the star so memorable:
RIP to the great Hector "Macho" Camacho. One of the most controversial and entertaining fighters ever. You will be missed.— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) November 23, 2012
And former world champion wrestler and WWE announcer John Bradshaw Layfield expressed his sadness over the loss of a great fighter like Camacho:
Sad to hear another legend, Hecto 'Macho' Camacho just passed away! A great tough fighter, loved watching the guy! RIP!— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) November 24, 2012