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Taken from life support after shooting, boxer Camancho dies

Former world boxing champion Hector "Macho" Camancho in 2006 in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP)
Former world boxing champion Hector "Macho" Camancho in 2006 in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP)
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Updated: 11/24/2012 12:21 pm
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Former championship boxer Hector "Macho" Camancho died today at a hospital where he been unconscious since he was shot in the face in an attack in his hometown earlier this week.

Camancho went into cardiac arrest in the predawn hours and he was taken off life support and died shortly thereafter, said Dr. Ernesto Torres, director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan.

Camancho's mother, Maria Matias, said Friday night that she had authorized removing her son from life support after his three sons had arrived from the U.S. mainland and had a chance to see their father for the last time. They managed to visit him before he died, said former pro boxer Victor "Luvi" Callejas, a longtime friend who has been acting as a family spokesman in recent days.

"The family is destroyed," Callejas said outside the hospital.

Doctors had declared Camancho brain dead on Thursday. Matias had said she decided it was time for doctors to disconnect life support over the objections of the boxer's eldest son, Hector Jr., because there was no chance for recovery.

"I lost my son three days ago. He's alive only because of a machine," she said Friday night. "My son is not alive. My son is only alive for the people who love him," she added.

Camancho was shot as he sat in a car with a friend, 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, who was killed in the attack. Police spokesman Alex Diaz said officer found nine small bags of cocaine in the friend's pocket and a 10th bag open inside the car,

Police reported no arrests and said investigators continued to look for potential witnesses. Capt. Rafael Rosa told reporters they were following several leads, but declined to say whether police had identified any suspects. He said few witnesses were cooperating.

Camamcho won super lightweight, lightweight and junion welterweight world titles in the 1980s and fought high-profile bouts against Feliz Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chanez and Sugar Ray Leonard while compiling a career record of 79-6-3. He knocked out Leonard in 1997, ending the former champion's final comeback attempt.

Camancho battled drug, alcohol and other problems throughout his life. He was sentenced in 2007 to sever years in prison on burglary charges, but a judge eventually suspended all but one year of the sentence and gave Camancho probation.


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