Photo credit: (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds mourned Hector Camacho on Saturday in the landmark East Harlem church the fighter attended as a boy, and hundreds more cheered and shouted “Macho!” when his coffin was carried out and loaded into a hearse afterward.
“Hector lived the American dream, to come from simple beginnings and to be known by thousands of people,” the Rev. Frank Skelly said. “He could lift us up, and he could break our hearts. He could inspire us and at times disappoint us.”
Camacho, a native of Puerto Rico who moved to East Harlem as a child, was shot in the face on Nov. 20 while sitting in a parked car with a friend outside a bar in Bayamon, his hometown in the U.S. territory. The friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno, died at the scene. The boxer died after doctors removed him from life support.
Police have said they have suspects but have not yet arrested anyone for the shooting.
There was no mention of Camacho’s bloody end during the service at St. Cecilia, an imposing brick and terra cotta church that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Skelly, the church’s former pastor, said he remembered Camacho as a child in the 1970s.
“I really didn’t see much of Hector after he left our school, so I still see him as a little boy, and I think that’s how God sees him,” the priest said. “Everything else is not important.”
Justin Camacho, one of the fighter’s four sons, read a scriptural passage.
The 50-year-old Camacho’s coffin was carried into the church draped in a Puerto Rican flag; the flag was replaced by a white cloth adorned with a cross during the service.
Mourners waved flags and hoisted newspapers with Camacho’s picture on the front page.
“I still can’t believe it happened to him,” said Tanya Espana, who met Camacho in the 1990s through a friend and brought a book of snapshots that documented their friendship. “Macho was very caring, very loving.”
Known for his flamboyant displays in the ring, Camacho won super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s and fought high-profile bouts against Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez and Sugar Ray Leonard. He had a career record of 79-6-3.
The church was about half-filled with a few hundred mourners, but hundreds more waited behind police barricades across the street and cheered the coffin. Burial followed at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx.
The funeral capped two days of mourning in the neighborhood known as Spanish Harlem where the slain former world champion fighter grew up.
On Friday, hundreds of fans turned out for the public wake and watched as a carriage drawn by white horses carried Camacho’s body through the streets.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
1 of 25
2 of 25
3 of 25
4 of 25
5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
5 of 25
6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
6 of 25
7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
7 of 25
8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
8 of 25
9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
9 of 25
10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
10 of 25
11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
11 of 25
12. Late nights mornings
12 of 25
13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
13 of 25
14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
14 of 25
15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
15 of 25
16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
16 of 25
17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
17 of 25
18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
18 of 25
19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
19 of 25
20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
20 of 25
21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
21 of 25
22. Claudia Jordan: ....
22 of 25
23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
23 of 25
24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
24 of 25
25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
25 of 25