Rest in Peace, Hector Camacho: One of Puerto Rico's Greatest Fighters

Gabe Salgado@@GabeSalgado82Correspondent IIINovember 28, 2012

Hector "Macho" Camacho was just 50 years of age at the time of his death.
Hector "Macho" Camacho was just 50 years of age at the time of his death.Al Bello/Getty Images

By now, we are all aware of the tragedy that took the life of Hector "Macho" Camacho.

Before I go any further, I will acknowledge that he did have issues in his personal life.

I don't know the circumstances behind his death other than the shooting, but that is not my place to speak.

The only thing that I will say about the senseless act that took his life is this: I pray for Hector and his family, and I pray that whoever committed this crime is brought to justice.

Anyone who loves sports grew up with fond memories of various athletes that they watched when they were younger.

For me, "Macho" Camacho was one of those athletes. Coming from a Puerto Rican family, I saw many of his fights.

My grandfather {may he rest In peace} was one of the biggest Camacho fans that I knew. My grandfather was the main reason why I got into boxing.

He was also the one who got me into watching Camacho, and also other Puerto Rican fighters.

Some people may not understand, but the Latino community has a tendency to live and die with the sport of boxing.

We celebrate when our beloved fighters win, and we take it personally when they lose.

The latter was the case for me when Camacho lost to both Julio Cesar Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya. 


On the other hand, I felt pride and joy when he defeated legends such as Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard.

I had mixed feelings when Camacho lost to future Puerto Rican star Felix Trinidad.

When Trinidad achieved his biggest success in years after beating Camacho, I realized that his victory over "Macho" was a passing of the torch to some extent.

When I was just six and seven years old, respectively, I saw Camacho defeat legendary Italian prize fighters like Ray Mancini and Vinny Paz.

Camacho made the most of his career at the same time that the heavyweight division was still going strong.

One fight that I wish I could have been old enough to see was his 1985 victory over Freddie Roach.

Yes, the same Freddie Roach that today is one of the greatest boxing trainers of all time.

While Camacho did finish his career on a losing streak, he compiled an astounding overall record of 79-6-3.

That is unheard of when it comes to today's fighters. Camacho may be gone, but the sport of boxing will live on.

That sentiment especially holds true in Puerto Rico. The Camacho family name will continue in the sport, thanks to Hector Camacho Jr.

If it wasn't for the elder Hector Camacho, Felix Trinidad wouldn't have achieved the fame that would define his career.

And thanks to Camacho, the sport of boxing will live on Puerto Rico. If you don't believe me, just look at Miguel Cotto, Ivan Calderon, and Kermit Cintron.

Rest In Peace Hector, Vaya Con Dios.