Hector "Macho" Camacho is Fighting for his Life

The legendary Puerto Rican boxer was shot on Tuesday

ByABC News
November 21, 2012, 9:27 AM

Nov. 21, 2012— -- UPDATE 12: 20 PM - El Nuevo Dia reports that Hector "Macho" Camacho is brain dead. "Medically, there's nothing to do," says one of his doctors, Ernesto Torres. Read more (in Spanish) and watch the live stream outside the San Juan hospital where he is being treated.

Puerto Rican boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho is fighting for his life in a San Juan hospital as he struggles to recover from very serious bullet wounds.

Camacho was rushed to the Rio Piedras Medical Center in San Juan last night after a gunman shot him in the face while he was in his car with a friend near a shopping mall in the town of Bayamón.

Doctor Ernesto Torres, the Medical Center's Director said on Wednesday morning that Camacho's chances of survival were slim. But explained that doctors can keep him alive with the help of a respiration machine for the next few days to see if the 50-year-old boxer eventually responds to treatment.

Torres said that a bullet aimed at Camacho's face, was deflected by his jaw, and made it's way to the top of the boxer's spinal chord, which means that if Camacho survives he could have trouble walking, or may even be paralyzed.

He added that Camacho suffered a brief heart attack at around 4:15 am local time. "His heart stopped working…we gave him medicines and his heart started pumping again. He has [some cerebral activity] but its very, low," doctor Torres told Puerto Rican Newspaper El Nuevo Dia.

The news of Camacho's shooting has taken over newspaper headlines and TV programs in Puerto Rico, where the retired boxer holds somewhat of a rockstar status.

Born on the island but raised in New York City, Camacho became one of the most popular fighters of the 80s and 90s, winning world titles in the Super Featherweight, Lightweight, and Light Welterweight divisions.

Camacho put up some dominant performances during his long career, in which he won 88 fights, and only lost six.

He knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard, and twice defeated Roberto "Mano de Piedra," Duran, but also lost highly publicized bouts with Julio Cesar Chavez, and Oscar de la Hoya, who defeated Camacho in 1997.

Outside the ring, Camacho became famous for his erratic conduct and for being in trouble with the law. He was arrested as a teenager for getting into street fights. After retirement he was arrested for burglary in Missisipppi and earlier this year he was detained in Florida on child abuse charges.

Camacho's fans however, will recall his confidence in the ring, and his wild boxing outfits printed with the colors of the Puerto Rican flag.

In the United States Camacho also stayed in the limelight by participating in "Mira Quien Baila," a Univision show that resembles Dancing with the Stars. Thanks to his charisma, Camacho also made several appearances on the Univision show "El Gordo y La Flaca," where he became the show's unofficial "Mira Quien Baila" critic.

Police in Puerto Rico are still investigating the incidents that led to the shooting of Macho Camacho.

According to Captain Reinaldo Santiago, a detective with Bayamon Police, Camacho and his friend, Alberto Mojica, were parked in front of a local store when an SUV with two gunmen pulled up next to Camacho's Grey Mustang.

Witnesses said a gumnan descended from the SUV and shot Camacho and Mojica, who died in the incident.

Police chased the SUV but were not able to detain its occupants. They said they knew little about Mojica, except that he was also a former boxer and a fan of cockfights.