Hector "Macho" Camacho, Getty Images
Puerto Rico-- Police in the Puerto Rican city of Bayamon say they found drugs inside the car in which former champion boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho was shot and critically wounded.
Police spokesman Alex Diaz says the man shot and killed with Camacho was in possession of nine small bags of cocaine. A 10th bag was open inside the car.
Camacho and friend Adrian Mojica Moreno were shot as they sat in the parked car outside a bar in their Puerto Rican hometown. The car belonged to Mojica. No arrests have been made and police have not disclosed any possible motive.
The 50-year-old boxer was in critical condition Wednesday at the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan, his fan mourning the loss of a dynamic and often troubled athlete. His family was trying to decide whether he should be removed from life support.
Doctors at the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan were conducting additional tests to determine whether he was brain dead, according to said Ismael Leandry, a longtime friend and former manager who has been at the hospital with family members.
"He's battling minute to minute. This is the most important fight of his life," Dr. Ernesto Torres, director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan, told The Associated Press outside the hospital in the Puerto Rican capital.
Doctors initially had said Camacho was in critical, but stable condition and expected to survive after he was shot Tuesday night in the city of Bayamon. But his condition worsened overnight and his heart stopped at one point, Torres said. he specialists will then consult with other doctors and Camacho's mother, who flew in Wednesday from New York, to discuss whether he should be removed from life support, said Ismael Leandry, a longtime friend and former manager who was also at the hospital.
"We just have to wait to see if `Macho' gets better. It's a hard battle," Leandry told AP.
Torres said Camacho's mother, Maria Matias, spent about 20 minutes with her son, one of the most dynamic boxing personalities of his era, and was expected to return for a second visit on Wednesday night.
"His mother came and she is devastated," he said. "She knows the prognosis is not at all favorable."
A godson, Widniel Adorno, said the family has discussed the possibility of organ donation but no final decision has been made.
Camacho's friend, identified as 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, was killed in the attack. Police said two assailants fled in an SUV but no arrests have been made and no motive has been disclosed.
Camacho was rushed to Centro Medico, where doctors initially said the bullet passed through his jaw and lodged in his shoulder. Torres said the bullet damaged three of the four main arteries in his neck and fractured two vertebrae, which could leave him paralyzed if he were to survive.
Steve Tannenbaum, who has also represented Camacho in the past, had been told earlier by friends at the hospital that the boxer would make it.
"This guy is a cat with nine lives. He's been through so much," he said. "If anybody can pull through it will be him." Friends and family members waited anxiously at the hospital, fondly recalling Camacho's high-energy personality and his powerful skills in the ring.
"He was like a little brother who was always getting into trouble," said former featherweight champion Juan Laporte, a fellow Puerto Rican who grew up and trained with Camacho in New York.
Camacho has been considered one of the more controversial figures in boxing, but also popular among fans and those who worked in the sport.
"The Macho Man was a promoter's dream," renowned promoter Don King told AP. "He excited boxing fans around the world with his inimitable style. He was a nice, amiable guy away from the ring."
King had promoted Camacho but was caught off guard by news of the attack on the former champion. "What a tragedy this is," he said. "I'm very sorry for Hector and his family. My prayers go out to him."
The fighter's last title bout came against then-welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya in 1997, a loss by unanimous decision. He last fought in May 2010, losing to Saul Duran. Tannenbaum said they were looking at a possible bout in 2013.
"We were talking comeback even though he is 50," he said. "I felt he was capable of it."Camacho was born in Bayamon, one of the cities that make up the San Juan metropolitan area
He left Puerto Rico as a child and grew up mostly in New York's Harlem neighborhood, one of the reasons he later earned the nickname "the Harlem Heckler."
He went on to win super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s.