Funeral Held for “Macho” Camacho in Spanish Harlem

The ceremony took place Saturday morning at St. Cecilia's Catholic Church

A funeral Mass was held in New York for former world champion fighter Hector "Macho" Camacho as police in Puerto Rico continue to investigate his fatal shooting.
The ceremony took place Saturday morning at St. Cecilia's Catholic Church in Spanish Harlem, the neighborhood where the boxer spent his childhood.

Hundreds cheered and shouted "Macho'' when Camacho's coffin was carried out and loaded into a hearse after the funeral.

"We love him, he's part of us," said John Skerret, a former boxer who turned out for the funeral. "He was our pride. When you mention Camacho, you mention Spanish Harlem, El Barrio, and that's a fact."

About 300 people mourned in the stately East Harlem church that the former world champion boxer attended as a boy. Hundreds more waited behind police barricades across the street.

The Rev. Frank Skelly remembered Camacho as a child and says that's how God knows him.

The funeral capped two days of mourning in Spanish Harlem. A carriage drawn by white horses carried his body through the neighborhood to a public wake at the church Friday night.
Camacho was fatally wounded in a shooting on Nov. 20. He was 50.
Known for his flamboyant displays in the ring, he won super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s and fought high-profile bouts against Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez and Sugar Ray Leonard. He had a career record of 79-6-3.
Camacho was buried after the service at St. Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.

"It hurts me that a boxer like that, one of the greatest boxers out there, and from Puerto Rico, for this to happen," said Richard Mely, who said he knew Camacho when he lived in Spanish Harlem. "It's hard, it's very hard."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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