One On One With Hector ďMachoĒ Camacho, Jr.

By Ronielt Castro

Hector ďMachoĒ Camacho, Jr. (48(27K.O.)-3-1) takes on former NABF and USBA lightweight champion Israel ďPitoĒ Cardona (36(28K.O.)-9-0) for the vacant WBC Caribbean Federation Light Middleweight Title.  After going one on one in the ring with Hector Macho Camacho Jr I sat down one on one for an interview with Camacho, Jr. at the gym to ask him about preparations for his upcoming fight. Here is what he had to sayÖ.. 

Q:  First of all, Hector I would like to thank you for taking the time out from training camp.

Hector, Jr.:  I would like to say thanks; itís a pleasure being here and being interviewed.  It gives me a chance to let the world know, the boxing world know, that Iím back.  Itís JR. TIME!!!!!

Q: Howís training camp going?

Hector, Jr.:  Training camp has been going well.  Itís the first time in a long time that I have been anxious for a fight.  Itís the first time I have been strategizing for a fight, getting ready, eating, sleeping, and boxing.  Thatís all I have been doing lately.  It feels good to be back, like Iím rejuvenated, starting over again, itís like my last hurrah.

Q:  Cardona is a formidable opponent.  What are some the strategies that your team has in mind for this fight?

Hector, Jr.:  Well Cardona, not to take anything away from him, he was a good fight, a two time world champion, has all the credentials in the world, but I feel he is in over his head, past his prime, and fighting a young Camacho who is a man at the age of 30.  He is fighting at 154 and Cardona was a champion at 135.  He is fighting me at my weight so I should be stronger, faster, and Iím a better fighter, better boxer.  I think he is over his head, but Iím taking nothing away from him and expecting a tough fight and preparing for the best Cardona

Q:  What do you usually do in preparation for this, or any fight?  Do you usually study the tapes of your opponents?

Hector, Jr.:  This is the first time I have actually studied tapes of Cardona.  I usually donít study tapes of opponents because when a fighter comes to fight me, they come with a different game plan.  My style is different from any other fighter because Iím a south paw. For this time, I have studied Cardona from head to toe: everything from his lateral movement, foot movement, head movement, body movement.  Iíve been studying him to the tee in order to execute the perfect game plan that the boxing world will see that Camacho, Jr. is back come August 29.

Q:  Itís well known that in the past couple of fights you have come in overweight and underprepared.  Howís your weight in preparation for this fight?

Hector, Jr.:  My weight is on target and my last couple of fights, you reap what you sow.  People said I was out of shape, which I was. Itís not the same I come from a great pedigree.  I came from fighting on HBO, fighting top notch opponents, but when you come to fight somebody like ďJoe Blow,Ē itís not the same preparation to fight someone like Leija, Rocky Martinez on HBO, or Joe Hutchinson on Fox.  When you fight people you know nothing about, it does not do anything for me, but Cardona brings out the best in me.

Q:  Over the last couple of years, your dedication has been questionable.  Would it be fair to say you have rededicated yourself to boxing?

Hector, Jr.:  It would be fair to say I have rededicated myself.  I have sat back the last 3 or 4 years watching all these underachievers making it big, like Mayorga who doesnít have half the skills I have.  They are up there fighting big fights, so I have been sitting back watching and saying boxing is missing and lacking in charisma, excitement, and talent.  I have all this talent and am wasting time.  I told myself, I cannot sit back and let this game pass me by without me achieving what Iím supposed to achieve.  So Iím out to get whatís mine.

Q:  You have a new head coach and strengthening coach.  Why the change?

Hector, Jr.:  I brought my trainer, Robert Lee, who was one of the first guys who trained my father in the amateur days.  He brought my father to his first championship.  So I feel like me coming back with a new attitude, I would come back with a new team behind me.  Thatís why I have Willie Classen (son of New Yorkís 1960 golden glove champion) who is a personal trainer.  He has helped me with strength and conditioning.  I have surrounded myself with Robert Lee, who can get me back to the basics in boxing.  I just want a good team behind me, to make my last run, my last hurrah.

Q:  How is the synergy between you and the head coach?

Hector, Jr.:  Itís great man, they say in boxing: itís the fighter is the one who fights the fights, but in this case, I have learned thatís a team work and team effort.  People donít see that part of boxing.  Yeah itís me who fights alone in the ring, but the team, the game plan, is a strategy that we come up with to execute that one day.

Q:  How has your new head coach improved your boxing skills?

Hector, Jr.:  Well, I see a lot of my father in him.  You can tell where my father gets his style from, at least most of it.  His style comes from Robert Lee, so it takes me back to the basics in boxing.  I become a puncher knocking anybody out and I feel I can knock anyone out.  He took me back to the basics and took the best out which is, boxing using my speed, movement, just getting back to the basics using speed and lateral movement.

Q:  The vacant WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) light middleweight title is up for grabs.  What can fans expect from you in this fight?

Hector, Jr.:  A WIN A WIN!!!!!  Letís say a NEW CHAMP Hector ďMachoĒ Camacho, Jr.

Q:  Is that win going to come by knock out or decision?

Hector, Jr.:  I am working hard and I have seen Cardona fight at 154.  He was a good fighter at 135, but at 154 he is over his head because Iím a stronger guy.  By the time I walk into the ring, Iím a super middle weight.  I will be too strong for him.  I am feeling good and I know I have a fight on my hands, and I take nothing away from Cardona.  He is a serious fighter and comes to fight.  When you fight a guy like Camacho, Jr., youíre fighting a name, a legacy, and youíre coming ready.  Iím expecting the best of him, but the fans can expect Camacho with a W, a WIN.  No matter how it comes, I am going to win.

Q:  Being the son of legendary 3 time World champion Hector ďMachoĒ Camacho, Sr., do you feel the pressure of having such a famous father?

Hector, Jr.:  It has its proís and conís.  The proís is [sic] that everyone recognizes the name so when they hear Camacho, Jr., they come to see me.  T he conís is [sic] that everyone expects the same thing.  They expect me to fill those big shoes.  Like I tell everyone, I can only do me.  What my father did in his time is what he did in his era.  I have my own legacy to build.

Q:  There has been talk of a fight with John Duddy as your next opponent.  Is that the fight you most want?

Hector, Jr.:  There has been talk of John Duddy, Zab Judah, and talks about my next fight in Las Vegas, the Garden, but all that means nothing until I get past August 29, so my main focus is Cardona.  Everything else is just talk.  Cardona is first.

Q:  Speaking of John Duddy, he fought with Yori Boy Campas, in what was considered fight of the year in 2006, you allegedly signed a contract to fight Campas and were suspended by the Puerto Rican Commission.  Would you care to tell your side of the story?

Hector, Jr.:  You said it all.  Allegedly, I signed the contract which I never did sign the contract.  It was something that was forged.  My management team has already fought four states which took me off the suspension list; Puerto Rico is the last one.  Itís something they do, they use my name and forge my signature.  I canít speak too much about it due to the legal aspects.  Like I said, allegedly I signed, which I never did.

Q:  Is there any other fighter that you would like to fight?

Hector, Jr.:  I want all the top dogs.  First and foremost is Cardona, but there are a lot of big names out there: people in my era, my time that came up from the Ď96 Olympics.  Thereís the Zab Judah, Mayweather, Spinks out there.  I am looking for big names. Of course, I want to fight Chavez, Jr.  I want to kick his ass for myself, for my father, for Puerto Rico.  Thatís the fight I want.

Q:  Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., who is also the son of legendary World Champion Julio Cesar Chavez, who I might add fought your father, is currently undefeated and in the same division.  Would a showdown with him be of interest?

Hector, Jr.:  Thatís a big fight, and he is undefeated, and as long as he continues to fight bums, he is going to stay undefeated until he fights somebody.  They are going to keep doing that.  They are going to milk him.  It comes to a point that a fight makes too much sense not to happen.  Like I said, he is Mexican, he has Mexican pride, so if he has the cojones (balls) he has to put them in his place and letís make the fight happen.  I want the fight to happen.  I even fought in Mexico on a double-header to make the fight happen.  Mexico wants the fight, Puerto Rico wants the fight.  It makes too much sense for the fight not to happen, but top rank and his people are taking care of him.  It gets to a certain point in his career, they have to let him lose.  He is going to catch a loss sooner or later.  He came close to losing to some no name fighters, so give the boy some space and let him go.

Q:  So youíre saying you are the man that can give Chavez, Jr. his first loss?

Hector, Jr.:  I would love to, not only for me, but for my father and Puerto Rico.  I have been challenging him for the longest time.  I have said it in Spanish and English.  I donít know what else to do, maybe I have to cross the border and make him.

Q:  On a completely different note, you have recently been given the honor of being the ambassador to the charity ďAngels Caring Eyes.Ē  Can you tell me a little bit about that charity and your role?

Hector, Jr.:  I am a spokesperson.  I am here to help out as much as I can.  Daniel Estrada, president of ďAngels caring EyesĒ, is a former fighter of my coach, Robert Lee, who is my trainer.  I like working with the kids.  I am a boys club alumni and I love giving back.  I am here to give back and help out.  Itís a back and forth thing.  I learn with the kids and they learn from me.  Itís a good relationship.

Q:  In coming to a close, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

Hector, Jr.:  Iím sorry you reap what you sow.  I took a long break.  I apologize, but I am back.  Itís my time, itís my night come August 29th.  Iím back; itís my time to shine.  Itís Jr. TIME!!!!!

Q:  Coach, Robert Lee, how do you see Camacho, Jr. in preparation for this fight?

Coach Lee:  He looks very sharp and ready to fight.  I am not worried about anything.  I know he is ready.

 Hector, thanks again for taking time out of training camp. Also, I would like to thank Willie Classen, Camachoís strengthening coach, for allowing me to participate in Camachoís rigorous day to day routine for the past week.  Good luck with the fight on August 29th. The fight will be held at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio. For tickets call (800) 745-3000. 

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the charity angels caring eyes visit and learn how you too can help the future boxing stars of tomorrow.


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