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Despite a street brawl three months ago, Camacho insists he's trying to confine his fisticuffs to the ring. "I got into that last fight only because I was trying to help a friend who was on angel dust," he says. "I tried talking to him but he was dusted, so I dropped it. The next day when he'd come down, I told him what he was doing was no good. He didn't like it, so he pushed me. So I pushed him. He threw a punch, so I beat the hell out of him. Two or three guys jumped in to stop me, so I beat the hell out of them."
Born in Bayam�n, Puerto Rico, Camacho was three when he came to the U.S. with his mother and older sister. They settled on 112th Street in Spanish Harlem. Later they moved to 115th. A veteran of street combat by age nine, Camacho began to borrow other people's automobiles without their permission when he was 12. "I took only the best—BMWs, Mercedes and Caddys," he says. "Once I took a beautiful Corvette. And I took good care of them. I kept them washed and polished. Those cars really made me stand out."
They also made him stand out to the police. Not too many kids on 115th Street drive BMWs. The first time Camacho got caught, the judge put him on probation for three years. The second time Camacho spent 3� months in the can. That's when he decided to find another hobby. "I've been on the inside and on the outside," he says. "I can tell you being outside is one hell of a lot better."
Camacho started boxing at 11 and five years later won the first of three New York City Golden Gloves titles. In September 1980 he beat David Brown in his first pro fight. "We're really moving," says Giles. "One, two more fights and we'll be set to challenge for the title."
"One more fight and Billy says I'll be able to buy my own car," says Camacho. "Right, Billy?"
Giles grins and nods.
"You better not be jiving me," says Camacho with a tight smile. "Because if I don't get a car after my next fight, you know damn well I'm going to go out and...."