Hundreds Gather to Mourn Hector "Macho" Camacho - NBC Chicago

Hundreds Gather to Mourn Hector "Macho" Camacho

The legendary boxer was laid to rest Friday after his body was brought up from Puerto Rico



    (Published Friday, Nov. 30, 2012)

    A horse-drawn carriage led Hector "Macho" Camacho's body through the streets of East Harlem Friday as hundreds gathered to mourn the late boxer.

    Camacho was shot in Puerto Rico on Nov. 21 while sitting in a parked car, and was taken off life support four days later. He was born in Puerto Rico but was raised in East Harlem, and is considered a "Son of Spanish Harlem." 
    He was mourned at a two-day viewing ceremony in Puerto Rico, but his mother made the case to lay her son to rest in New York, where he was raised. After seeing the turnout outside St. Cecilia's Church on East 106th Street, Maria Matias told NBC 4 New York she was happy with the decision.
    "He would be proud of all you people," Matias said.
    Camacho was known for his skill and style in the ring, and fought some of the biggest stars in boxing, including Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard. Those who gathered Friday honored him with Puerto Rican flags and boxing memorabilia.
    "God bless him," said Ramonita Gonzalez of Harlem. "I pray every day for Camacho."
    Christian Camacho was stunned at the number of fans paying their respects to his father.
    "I thought we were in this alone," he said. "We were crying our hearts out as a family but to see that we have all of these supporters here supporting us -- it's amazing."
    Amid the pride expressed for the late boxer, there was also plenty of sorrow. Police in Puerto Rico have yet to arrest anyone for fatally shooting Camacho. 
    And the days after his death have been filled with drama. Fights reportedly broke out between two women claiming to be his girlfriend during a public viewing in Puerto Rico. 
    Supporters in the city that raised Camacho, though, only wanted to say goodbye. And his family was appreciative of that.
    "I love New York," his mother said. "I love all you people."