It was a goodbye fit for a king of the ring. Boxing legend Hector “Macho” Camacho was given a royal sendoff today as his casket was paraded through the streets of East Harlem in a horse-drawn carriage as thousands of mourners wished him farewell.
The procession began at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church on East 106th Street, went up First Avenue, cut across East 116th Street, traveled down Fifth Avenue and returned along East 106th Street, winding back to the church.
Revelers joined in along the way, marching behind the carriage and procession of vehicles carrying grieving family members and friends.
People were spotted hanging out car windows and sunroofs while wildly waving Puerto Rican flags and clutching pictures of Camacho in his fighting prime.
When the casket, draped in a Puerto Rican flag, arrived at St. Cecilia’s, a mob of people standing behind police barricades chanted, “Macho. Macho.”
“I love you guys,” Camacho’s mother, Maria Matias, shouted back while pumping her fist in the air. The line of people waiting to get inside and pay thier respects was several blocks long.
“I fought hard to bring my son here, where he belongs,” she told The Post.
“He fought here, he was raised here and now he is being buried here. Look at all these supporters here, it is amazing.
“They are telling me that Camacho is alive today. His spirit is not dead. He is a champion. I will always carry him in my heart.”
She recalled how Camacho started learning to box at the age of 7 and bought her a home with his career winnings.
“My son had a good heart… and took care of me.”
Camacho was shot Nov. 20 while sitting in a parked car in his hometown, Bavamon. He was 50.
Matias lashed out at her son’s killers.
“He did not deserve to die. They killed an innocent man for no reason. One bullet took my son’s life.”
She said that police have three men in custody and are tring to peice together a motive behind the slaying.
“They don’t have all the evidence yet, but soon they will.”
A farewell for Camacho in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday was marred by violence after Cynthia Castillo, 28, who claims to have been the pugilist’s girlfriend, angered his sisters by kissing him inside the open casket and walking to a VIP area designated for family and close friends.
She then fought with his former girlfriend Gloria Fernandez outside the chapel, according to the newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
Police were called in to pull the ladies apart.