NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Pugilist Hector “Macho” Camacho lived his life fast and furious in and out of the ring, and on Saturday morning, a large crowd was expected to fill the streets of East Harlem to remember him.
The late championship boxer died late last month, three days after being shot in the face during a robbery in his hometown of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
1010 WINS Eileen Lehpamer reports
As CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian and 1010 WINS Eileen Lehpamer reported, East Harlem was Camacho’s second home. Fans applauded and waved Puerto Rican flags lining 106th Street, as a procession of motorcycles and cars followed Camacho’s hearse from St. Cecilia’s Church, 120 E. 106th St., church to St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx.
and many paid their respects on Friday as a glass horse-drawn carriage brought the former his body to Saint Cecilia’s Church on East 106th Street. Camacho’s sons sat at the helm.
“I feel very happy. I’m proud with the people here. I love my son so much,” Matias said.
Last Saturday, Matias was faced with every mother’s worst nightmare. She chose to end her son’s life, taking him off life support three days after he was shot in the face and left brain dead while sitting in a car in Puerto Rico. As of Saturday morning, the gunman still had not been caught.
“They took my life and my son,” Matias said.
Outside St. Cecilia’s Parish, fans remembered Camacho for his flamboyant style, his larger-than-life personality, and the determination and strength that propelled him from East Harlem to the international boxing stage and made him a source of pride for Puerto Ricans everywhere.
“New York, Puerto Rico, Mexico – any country, you know,” said fan Luis Cajighas.
Camacho fought for three decades, but this post-boxing career was plagued by bouts of drug use, prison time and marital discourse. But fans remember him as a source of pride for his accomplishments in the ring.
“Yes, he is a hero. He’s always going to be a hero to us,” said fan Anna Castro.
Laura Pagano showed up to the procession with the old boxing gloves Camacho gave her when they were neighbors.
“I’ve known him like 40 years — 112th and Second Avenue, his mother lived over there, and me too,” Pagano said.
After three decades ruling the ring, hundreds chanted, “Macho time,” his catch phrase, for the last time.
“This is his life,” another fan said. “I think he’s going to keep on fighting in heaven.”
The funeral for Camacho began at St. Cecilia’s, 120 E. 106th St., at 9 a.m. Saturday. Burial was to follow at St. Raymond’s Cemetery, at 2600 Lafayette Ave. in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx.
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