By Chris Cella
Following the passing of his father—former champion and boxing legend Hector “Macho” Camacho—Hector Camacho Jr. was set to return to the ring and make a splash February 9 in Brooklyn against Dmitri Salita on the undercard of the world championship fight between Danny Garcia and Zab Judah. But after Garcia suffered a rib injury and the entire fight card got postponed, Camacho Jr.’s fight was cancelled.
“I still don’t know what happened with the fight,” said Camacho Jr. “I got a call from Golden Boy, and they said the fight was off. That was it. No further explanation. I don’t know if Salita caught wind that I was in top conditioning for this fight, but what could I do? It was off. I’ve been working hard getting ready for it, so I had to refocus my efforts on the next opportunity presented to me.”
That next opportunity will be presented to Camacho Jr. when he returns to action April 20 in his native country of Puerto Rico against Mexican legend Jose Luis Castillo for the vacant WBC United State (USNBC) Light Middleweight title.
Camacho has been adamant about revitalizing his boxing career, and is anxious to show his large fan base worldwide that he is ready to make a title run in his father’s honor. But working toward raising the hardware inside the ring is not Camacho Jr.’s only prerogative at the moment.
Hector Camacho was the victim of a shooting on November 20; and it was a bullet that stole his life. Camacho Jr. (54-5-1, 29 KO) is now on a mission to raise awareness about gun violence and to do his part to help create a structure for children of Puerto Rico to keep them off the streets.
“We have created a cause—Guns Down, Gloves Up…Un Mejor Puerto Rico,” said Camacho Jr. “We want to take action in removing firearms from the streets, and provide kids with an outlet so they don’t stray to the streets and gang life. Ultimately we want to help as many kids as possible, but if we are able to touch the life of even one, then we will be successful.”
Camacho Jr. has seen the street life from an early age, and could’ve easily been swayed toward gang activity, but took the course of boxing. Now he wants to give kids the same chance he had, and help them to realize there are other alternatives than standing on the street and gangbanging.
Over the past few weeks Camacho Jr. has been proactive in talking to the necessary council members of his community in Arecibo, Puerto Rico to get things rolling.
“Proceeds from ticket sales for my April 20 bout will go to funding this cause, and we are hoping people all over the world step up and take action to help bring this to life. We need to work together to eradicate this growing problem, which has become an international epidemic.”