Boxing champ Hector Camacho on life support after shooting

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:19pm EST

1 of 3. Former boxer Lovi Callejas (R) and friend Ruben Borrali console each other as they await news on the condition of former Puerto Rican welterweight boxer Hector 'Macho' Camacho outside the hospital, where Camacho is being treated for a gunshot wound to the face and neck, in San Juan November 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alvin Baez

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Hector "Macho" Camacho was on life support on Wednesday after he was shot in the face and neck and doctors treating the three-time world boxing champion conducted tests to determine whether he was brain dead.

"This is the toughest fight in the life of Macho Camacho," Ernesto Torres, director of the Rio Piedras Medical Center, told reporters.

Camacho, 50, was gravely injured in a drive-by shooting in Puerto Rico on Tuesday night. Torres said Camacho suffered a heart attack early Wednesday, worsening his condition, and at one point his heart had stopped.

Torres said an initial test showed Camacho had a low level of brain activity and two more tests were being carried out.

"We are keeping him alive with medicine. He is a strong guy," he said. "We can maintain him several days like this to see if there is an improvement. Macho's situation is very delicate. The prognosis is very poor," Torres added.

The boxer's mother, Maria Matias, arrived in Puerto Rico and was discussing Camacho's medical condition with doctors.

Camacho, was a passenger in a car driven by his lifelong friend, Alberto Yamil Mojica. They were sitting in the parked car outside a bar when someone opened fire, killing the driver. Camacho was shot in the jaw by a bullet that fractured two vertebrae and lodged in his shoulder, doctors said.

The shooting occurred near a popular shopping mall on Highway 167 in Bayamon, a suburban town west of the capital of San Juan. Police have yet to make arrests or determine a motive in the attack.

Relatives and fans held a prayer vigil outside the hospital where Camacho was being treated.

(Reporting by Reuters in San Juan, Editing by Jane Sutton, Kevin Gray and Todd Eastham)

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