Boxing legend Macho Camacho battles for life

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MIAMI (AFP) – Former three time world boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho was fighting for his life Wednesday after being shot in the neck in Puerto Rico, doctors said.

His heart stopped briefly overnight and he is being kept alive with a respirator and other machines, while doctors evaluate whether to declare him brain dead, they said.

The boxer’s “condition is very touch and go, it’s serious,” Ernesto Torres, director of the Centro Medico de Rio Piedras, told reporters, adding that “at 4:15 am (0815 GMT) his heart stopped.

“We were able to pull him back with drugs. We gave him drugs and his heart started beating again,” he said, adding that neurologists said they “cannot do anything for him.”

“This is a process and we have to wait for two different indicators to declare brain death,” he added.

His mother, Maria Matias, arrived from New York early Wednesday. The Spanish-language TV channel Univision said his brother and children were also expected, to decide whether to disconnect an artificial respirator.

“His mother already knows that the outlook is not good, and we told her to prepare for the worst scenario. We will continue to do tests tonight and tomorrow morning.

“But we have to stress that Macho Camacho is breathing with a respirator and his blood pressure and pulse are being maintained by machines,” added the doctor.

Camacho, 50, was being driven in a car when he was hit in the head by gunshot from another vehicle around 7:00 pm local time, according to the local Primera Hora de Puerto Rico newspaper.

The paper showed a picture of the ex-boxer on a hospital gurney, with an oxygen mask and tubes, covered by blood-soaked covers. It said he was unconscious.

Camacho was one of the most colorful boxers of the 1980s.

He has a career record of 79-6-3 with 38 knockouts, and over his career he took on all comers, including big names like Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Ray Leonard, Felix Trinidad, Ray Mancini, and Greg Haugen.

Earlier this year, US police charged Camacho with child abuse for allegedly slamming his son into a floor at his ex-wife’s home in Florida.

Camacho was accused of hitting and stomping on his son, police documents say.

The incident took place on March 22, 2011, allegedly over money Camacho apparently believed was missing at his ex-wife’s home, the documents show.

The boxer, originally from Puerto Rico, in recent years has made appearances on two reality television programs, “Mira Quien Baila” (“Look Who’s Dancing”) and “Es Macho Time.”

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