YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Hours before Hector “Macho” Camacho was shot in the face in Puerto Rico last night, a New Jersey appeals court released a decision that involved one of the darker chapters in the 50-year-old boxer’s career.
The appellate court dismissed the Macho Man’s appeal of the state Athletic Control Board’s denial of a license to fight Yori Boy Campas in Atlantic City in 2009, deeming the request moot.
Camacho had called the board’s denial “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable” because it focused on a single sparring session. He asked the appeals court judges to overturn the decision and order the board to reconsider his application.
However, theappeals panel noted that the ACB already told Camacho he was free to re-apply once a year had passed since his initial application — less two months after its March 10, 2010 denial.
“The appeal is therefore moot,” the judges wrote in their brief decision.
Aaron Davis, then the commissioner of New Jersey’s Athletic Control Board, deemed Camacho unfit to fight Campas after dropping in on an April 2009 training session in which he said sparring partners ended up going easy on the Macho Man.
Camacho had fought only twice in the previous four years. Yet he managed to get the late Angelo Dundee to work his corner (the boxing legend, 87, was only a year older than both fighters’ combined ages).
“I didn’t feel his skills were up to the level they needed to be for him to be competitive,” Davis told a reporter. “He showed nothing, and this is a fighter with a reputation for being elusive, smart and quick.”
Camacho, a three-time world champion who retired with a record of 79-6-3 with 38 KOs, appealed Davis’s decision to the board.
After watching a video of the sparring session, board members upheld the denial.
Camacho, two week short of his 47th birthday and more than a dozen years removed from sending Sugar Ray Leonard into permanent retirement (also in A.C.), fought the 37-year-old Campas anyway — at a DoubleTree Hotel in Orlando on pay-per-view.
It ended in a draw.
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