Hector Camacho Jr. can, like his late father, stir up bad buzz, as he did Wednesday, when he came in 10 pounds over the contracted weight for his match against Lee Murtagh this evening in Rochester, N.Y.
The son of the late legend, who turns 35 in September, has made noise about wanting to make one more run at relevance, to do his dad's memory justice. But the 56-5-1 hitter still can't seem to get out of his own way.
Camacho informed promoter Mercedes Vazquez Simmons about 10 days ago that he was struggling to get near target weight, she told ESPNNewYork.com: "But yes, it was shocking when he weighed in."
The contract called for each fighter to weigh 157 or less. Camacho had to pay a portion from his purse to Murtagh for the fight to go on, she said, and he needed to weigh in again at noon on fight day. If he was 174 or less, the bout would go on as scheduled. If he went over 174, Simmons said, it would be up to Team Murtagh on how to proceed.
Good news; she said he weighed 172 at the noon check-in.
The promoter said she is still committed to a working relationship with Camacho, but did acknowledge that his scale fail aggravated her. "It's an investment to put on these shows, and I take this stuff very seriously," she said. "His management and I had talked about the liability to myself. He understands, though, and takes full accountability. We will work with him in future fights, and help him control that."
The promoter said she thinks Junior is still dealing with the after-effects of his father's death, which came on Nov. 24, 2012, after he was shot and critically wounded in Puerto Rico. Junior does have a track record of subpar preparation and iffy motivation prior to that, however. He drew scorn for quitting on his stool, blaming a cut, in his 2001 Brooklyn fight against Jesse James Leija. Two fights later, he came in overweight against Omar Weis. In 2007, he was seven pounds over for his bout against Don Futrell, which he lost via split decision. The trend continued when he was 5 1/2 pounds over against Yory Boy Campas, in 2009. In 2010, he was relegated to steppingstone status and lost a Ko1 to David Lemieux. He was viciously kayoed by Luis Grajeda in July 2012, but has won two in a row since.
"I talk to him daily," she said. "His father's death was shocking and I think he's had a hard time dealing with it. Everyone's got their issues and his can be controlled, it needs to be closely monitored."
Simmons still believes a crowd of approximately 5,000 will come to Frontier Field to watch the card. "We as a promotional group do not want to walk away from fighters who are challenged or having issues," she said. "They just need some assistance."
And if Junior had gained too much weight at his noon weigh-in, would she still stand by the boxer with self destructive tendencies?
Simmons, bless her forgiving soul, laughed. "Yes," she said.
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