Former champion boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho was shot and seriously wounded Tuesday in Puerto Rico, police said.
At least one gunman opened fire on Camacho, 50, and another man as they sat in a car in the city of Bayamon, near San Juan, the Associated Press reported. The other man, whose connection to the former boxer wasn't immediately known, was killed, according to a statement from police.
Camacho, shot in the face, was rushed to Centro Medico, the trauma center in San Juan, where he was in critical but stable condition, Dr. Ernesto Torres, the hospital director, told reporters.
The bullet apparently struck him in the jaw but exited his head and lodged in his right shoulder and fractured two vertebrae, Torres said. The doctor said the boxer was at risk of paralysis from the shooting.
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The fighter's last title bout came against then-welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya in 1997, a loss by unanimous decision.
Camacho won super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s, the AP noted.
Camacho has fought other high-profile bouts in his career against Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez and Sugar Ray Leonard. Camacho knocked out Leonard in 1997, ending what was that former champ's final comeback attempt.
Camacho has a career record of 79-5-3, with his most recent fight coming in 2009.
“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.
Yet, when Camacho suffered his first loss in a 1991 World Boxing Organization lightweight title bout against Greg Haugen at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, his true nature came through.
“You’d think the guy would be devastated, but 15 minutes after the loss, he was back in press row for the second fight of the HBO doubleheader, shaking everyone’s hands,” Caplan said. “Just a happy-go-lucky guy who loved people.”
Drug, alcohol and other problems have trailed Camacho since the prime of his boxing career. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi. While arresting him on the burglary charge in January 2005, police also found the drug ecstasy. His wife filed for divorce, citing domestic violence.