Former champion boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho was seriously wounded Tuesday in a shooting outside the Puerto Rican capital, and doctors and his spokesman said he was expected to survive.
At least one gunman opened fire on the 50-year-old Camacho and another man as they sat in a car in the city of Bayamon. The other man, whose relationship to the former boxer wasn't immediately known, was killed, according to a statement from police.
Camacho was rushed to Centro Medico, the trauma center in San Juan, where he was in critical but stable condition, Dr. Ernesto Torres, the hospital director, told reporters.
The bullet apparently struck him in the jaw but exited his head and lodged in his right shoulder and fractured two vertebrae, Torres said. The doctor said the boxer, who was trailed by drug and alcohol problems during a career that included some high-profile bouts, was at risk of paralysis from the shooting.
No arrests have been made in the shooting, police said.
Camacho representative Steve Tannenbaum said he was told 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."
Camacho was born in Bayamon and grew up in New York City. He won super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s and was a regular staple of network televised boxing just 18 months after turning pro, known for his hand speed, cockiness and flashy ring attire.
The southpaw won his first 38 bouts and compiled an overall record of 79-6-3, with 38 knockouts. He beat the likes of Edwin Rosario, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Vinny Pazienza, Ray Mancini, Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard. He came up short against the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez, Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya.
Drug, alcohol and other problems have trailed Camacho since the prime of his boxing career. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi. While arresting him on the burglary charge in January 2005, police also found the drug ecstasy.
A judge eventually suspended all but one year of the sentence and gave Camacho probation. He wound up serving two weeks in jail, though, after violating that probation.
Twice his wife filed domestic abuse complaints against him, and she filed for divorce several years ago.