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Former world champ taken off life support days after shooting
Hector "Macho" Camacho was a charismatic showman whose speed and agility earned him three world boxing titles even as his recklessness outside the ring brought him a wealth of trouble.
Camacho, 50, was declared dead on Saturday after being removed from a respirator. He had been declared brain dead on Thursday, two days after he was shot in the head while in a car in San Juan outside a liquor store.
His driver, Alberto Mojica Moreno, 49, was killed in the shooting.
Camacho was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, but spent much of his childhood and youth in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.
He won super lightweight, lightweight and light welterweight world titles in the 1980s and fought marquee bouts against Felix Trinidad, Roberto Duran, Oscar de la Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez and Sugar Ray Leonard in a career that spanned three decades.
He ended Leonard's last comeback bid in 1997 with a knockout victory.
The list of Camacho's elite opponents shows plenty of substance to his boxing career, but he'll also be remembered for his flamboyant style.
His tasselled trunks and the ring theatrics of Macho Time helped pave the way for fighters such as Naseem Hamed, and fighter-turned-promoter De la Hoya - who earned a unanimous decision over Camacho in 1997 - said Camacho was the fighter who first showed him how to really sell a bout.
"He was definitely advanced when it came to the marketing side of boxing and selling himself," De la Hoya said.
In retirement, Camacho could still woo an audience, appearing on the reality television programs Mira Quien Baila (Look Who is Dancing) and Es Macho Time.
"He revolutionized boxing," said Mexican ring icon Chavez. "He was very charismatic and extroverted. He was a chatterbox, but he was very good, one of the best. It's a shame he got mixed up in so many problems."
Camacho didn't have the reputation of a heavy puncher. Agile and quick, he was hard to hit in his prime.
"When he was young, you couldn't hit him, that's why he won his first 50 fights," veteran boxing publicist Bill Caplan told the Los Angeles Times.
(China Daily 11/26/2012 page23)