You may love him, you may hate him but there's no doubt
that Hector "Macho" Camacho is a difficult character to ignore.
On the day before his first fight in over six months, Boxing
wise's Cornerman got a chance to be up close and personal
with the 19 year pro.
As a writer, I must admit, the prospect of a sitdown with
the Macho one posed what I saw as a mixed blessing. A big name,
no doubt....controversial? Hey, Hector always made for good
copy.....so why my hesitancy? Well, it's like this, as a
reporter, as a man, I don't suffer arrogance well…and though I
have always appreciated Camacho's skills in the ring, I wasn't
looking forward to another self absorbed, conceit driven athelete
full of his own existence. What I got surprised me and maybe it
will surprise you as well. Far from the character yelling "Macho
Time!" at every available TV camera or the guy who likes to wear
leather, fringed loincloths into the ring, I found a quite, soft
spoken, somewhat even self effacing 36 year old professional.
Perhaps becoming a grandfather will do that to you......
Cornerman: Hector, thank you for the interview, especially at such short notice. Tell me, at age 36, what are your goals now and what is it that you want to accomplish? Camacho: Well, I'm just trying to get my feet wet getting back into the ring. I'm a much calmer man now. I'm a reborn Christian, I have a beautiful family, I have a new seventh month old baby. It is about being with my family and doing good things. Cornerman: Tell me some more about what things are going on for you now? Camacho: I spend time now working in a rehab working with kids to help them get more self confidence, you know feel better about themselves. I have the Macho foundation, my wife my has opened a boutique and of course there's my son. Hector Junior is now 23-0 and I've got him set up with good people in Puerto Rico and he's working hard. He also just gave me a new grandson..so I'm a grandfather now! (Laughs) Cornerman: Imagine that, the Macho Man a grandfather. Hard to picture isn't it? What do you see in Junior's future? Camacho: I'm fighting five times in the next three months. After this fight I want to go help him train. In April, I'm going to be defending my IBC title and he's going to being fighting for an IBC title on the same card. It will be great. For the last four months I've been developing a decent relationship with the Lord. I want to keep it light with the fans, I don't want to make a big deal about it. It has me more focused on training, my career, you know I ain't got no hangovers, I'm not runnin' around. Cornerman: Who are looking for in terms of a matchup? What's your dream fight now? Camacho: Fernando Vargas, he's green. David Reid is strong but a bit amateurish. Tony Ayala is do out of prison on Good Friday. Cornerman: I'm just curious, Hector, would you want another shot at Chavez? Camacho: I would LOVE to fight Chavez again. I fought him at one of the worst times of my life. I was going through some real ups and downs. I say this not to say that he didn't beat me....on that night he did, I can't take that away from him. I've never seen a fighter get so old so fast as Chavez. Cornerman: Sometimes you get criticized by the media yet you went the whole way with DelaHoya and Chavez sat on his stool. Camacho: Look, I ain't making no excuses about DelaHoya, he won. But I took the fight and the 147 because the money was great. I trained my ass off but that weight was killing me. I really worked hard but I had no strength. One fifty-five is where I belong. Cornerman: You have had some fights at 160 and even heavier. How was that? Camacho: I felt slow and sluggish. This is a good weight for me. Cornerman: How much longer do you expect to fight? Camacho: I want to go out with class. I don't want to go out like Sugar Ray...tell everyone I'm retired and then comeback. I want one more year and then a half of another year. I want to announce my retirement in a classy way...maybe after me and Hector Jr. fight on a card someday. I'll take the mike and say this is time to turn it over to a new generation. (laughs) Cornerman: Hector, can you have imagined yourself, say around 1985, that you would be talking like this? Christian, family man and grandfather, that's pretty wild! Camacho: It is all pretty cool. Cornerman: And then? What's the next career for the Macho Man? Camacho: There's some work being done on a Spanish TV show. I'd play a bodygaurd or something. It'll be cool, we'll see what happens. I'd like to do something like that. Cornerman: Hector, thanks again, for some time, the day before a fight when I'm sure you got a lot on your mind. Camacho: No problem, God Bless you. That's right a congenial, polite respectful Macho Man. A man that ends his conversations with a soft "God Bless you". Age, living, fatherhood and maturity are wonderful things. The Cornerman is a regular writer for Boxing Wise and to see more of his work please visit the Judges section.