Camacho regains passion

Hector Camacho, Jr. reclaimed his passion and love for the sport of boxing at today's final presser for Saturday night's "Latin Invasion" card.

“I had lost passion and love for boxing," Camacho admitted. "I found myself going through changes, feeling tremendous pressure and not feeling at my best. I was constantly battling with my weight and with the black cloud that hung over me. That’s why I was away from the ring all this time. But for everything I had lost, I have now gained. I now feel 1000% committed. I am on a mission and for everyone that sees me fight this Saturday (August 29), they’ll take notice.

“People would constantly compare me to my father. I felt as though the media was waiting for me to make a mistake to jump on me. I felt insecure and how could you be a great fighter when you feel that way. I was dealing with celebrity phobia. I was fighting to make a show and was feeling uneasy with all the eyes watching me. I have learned a lot since then. Most importantly, I have matured. I know what is expected of me and it’s exactly what I want to give. Sometimes being away from the sport gives you perspective. You feel what’s right deep in your heart. I was a young fighter before. I am now a more seasoned, a more mature fighter.

“I have built a new and better life for myself. I have been meditating and seeking the spiritual path to gain focus and to tap into my inner power. I have reached that and I feel great. I am working to establish my own legacy. Take the old Hector and turn him into a new and better model. It’s wonderful to be able to really search within and make the appropriate changes. I’ve grown a lot and I am in love with the sport again. I totally enjoy training, I feel good to be in shape all the time instead of rushing to meet a goal at the end. I’m not the same person I used to be. I’m a much better fighter and look to become a champion.

“The person I most admire in boxing is my father. He was great as a boxer and I love to see what he accomplished in the ring. But overall, it’s Oscar de la Hoya. I am so proud of what he has become. He turned the game around. He became accepted and loved by the mainstream and an idol for Latinos. That’s an accomplishment. Oscar became a business. How many fighters can say that? I love what he represents. That’s the direction I want to go in.

“After the Jesse James Leija fight I nearly lost it all. I was depressed, angry, frustrated. So many people turned on me. The press burned me. But I emerged stronger. A loss is a loss but I don’t intend to feel that again because I am a better prepared fighter – mentally, physically and emotionally.

“I’ve been watching so many under achievers and feel we need to be re-committed to this sport. Boxing is beautiful. It is the old world sport of the gladiators of sweat, pride, dedication and fierce competition. You have to have incredible skills to be successful in this sport. We need to appreciate this wonderful sport. Respect it and deal with pride. I am proud to be a fighter. I don’t do this for the big networks or the big fighters or the big paydays. I do this because I love boxing and I want to be the best.