Mancini chased him from the start, pressuring him. Camacho peppered away with his right jab, consistently the most effective punch thrown by either man all night. But to the crowd's displeasure, Camacho also ran, backpedaling and sidestepping the pressure. Mancini made what there was of the fight, with hard overhand rights and body shots, but he lacked precision in his punches and never did real damage. Tiring in the later rounds, Camacho stopped running and started tying Mancini up, and that turned what had been a boring fight into an unsightly one.
When it was over, each man went to his corner thinking he had won. It was too close to make a definitive call. After the decision, Mancini announced plans to get married and left for Los Angeles, undecided about his fistic future. Camacho said he would like a tune-up fight within two months and then wants the return bout with Mancini. He also wants a shot at Julio C�sar Ch�vez's lightweight title.
"I've basically got my life together," Camacho says. "After I beat Ch�vez, I'll be finished with boxing. Then I want to do a little acting. My time is coming."
The way he has been fighting, it may have already gone. But there is always the senior boxing tour. Camacho may have gotten a taste of it with Mancini.
And speaking of Rocky Graziano, he can taste it now. It has been more than 40 years since his epic middleweight title fights with Tony Zale. Graziano, reached the other day at his home in New York, said, "Zale don't want to fight me anymore, but I'll fight him again. I'll knock him out this time!"
That's it, Rocky. That's the spirit of these times.