Friends speak highly of "Macho" Camacho - FOX 13 News

Friends speak highly of "Macho" Camacho

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Inside a small boxing gym on North Nebraska Avenue, a big name adorns the walls: Hector "Macho" Camacho.

"When he comes here, the first thing he starts doing is shadow boxing," trainer Jerry Reyes said.

Known for his flamboyant style and the small curl of hair in his face, Camacho is a former world champion, winning in several divisions in the 1980s. Few know him better than Reyes, his trainer.

"He was always happy he was ready for everything and when he says "macho time," he was ready to rumble," Reyes said.

Beyond just training "Macho," Reyes is like a brother to the former champ. Camacho lived with him in Tampa off and on from 2009 until last year. He was devastated to learn his close friend was shot back in his native Puerto Rico. According to reports, doctors and Camacho's family are deciding whether or not to take the 50-year-old off life support.

"It is gonna be like a hole that nobody will cover it, he's gonna be missed," Reyes said.

"When you met him in real life he was a real down-to-earth person. He was really shy and to himself," said Carlos Guzman, a close friend.

But Camacho is also known for his battles outside the ring, caught up in drug and alcohol problems. He was arrested in 2005 on a burglary charge.

"In his last years, he's had ups and downs. But it is gonna hurt the Latin community a lot," Guzman said.

Because friends say, among Latinos, Camacho reached icon status.

"I don't think we could walk five footsteps without someone stopping us asking for his autograph," Guzman added.

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