The Boxing Rabbi notes with sadness the passing of famed fighter Hector “Macho” Camacho, as a result of a gunshot wound. Anyone who followed boxing in the 80’s and into the 90’s knew “The Macho Man” Hector Camacho. He had blazing fast hands and was a truly gifted and intelligent boxer. He was a marvelous entertainer and would enter the ring in costumes and shout “What time is it?” “It’s Macho time!”
Despite the manner of his death, Hector Camacho was known as a kind and decent man who kept the violence in his life inside the ring. One of the things that I have discovered about boxers is that with few exceptions, they are humble, decent, gentle, and friendly. Boxing is an unusual sport in that rank amateurs like me can train alongside world famous contenders in the same gym. (You won’t find most golfers practicing putts next to, say, Tiger Woods). I have met some truly great fighters, and they are invariably kind and humble. I have enountered far more rudeness and incivility in the YMCA weight room than in the boxing gyms to which I have belonged. Perhaps that is because every boxer knows that there is always someone better. Perhaps that is because boxers know that there is no feeling on earth quite like stepping into the ring with an opponent determined to hit you (even when sparring) and that feeling keeps one humble. Despite the noteworthy deaths of such fighters as Camacho, Arturo Gatti, and the like, there are far, far more stories of football players and other “conventional” athletes getting into serious trouble.
As we say in Judaism, may the memory of Hector “Macho” Camacho be for a blessing.