Photo: Hector "Macho" Camacho's funeral
Amid tears, applause, fainting and intense cold, controversial world boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho was buried Saturday in New York after a four-day vigil in Puerto Rico, his native country, and in the Big Apple where he grew up and won fame.
The last remains of the ex-boxer, who died at age 50, were laid to rest in Saint Raymond Cemetery in the Bronx, where his burial was attended by his family and crowds of Puerto Ricans waving the island’s flag, following a religious service at St. Cecilia Church in the Latino neighborhood of Harlem where his mother went to live when he was little.
Fans of the famous boxer once more defied the freezing cold and stood in line for at least three hours before the church opened its doors to receive the body of Camacho, who was killed by a gunshot in the face last Nov. 20.
When the casket wrapped in the Puerto Rican flag reached his final resting place, there were cries of “Macho…Macho…It’s Macho Time” amid the applause of fans and the tears and mourning of family members, including his mother Maria Matias, his sisters and four children.
When the casket of her son was lowered into the grave, Matias collapsed and had to be lifted up and carried away. In the midst of tears she cried “Oh my son, they killed him. Macho has gone from me,” after which she received medical assistance and left the cemetery breathing with the aid of supplemental oxygen.