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Camacho Booed, He Could Care Less

February 17, 1996

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Hector Camacho got booed.

Normally, that would not be stop-the-presses news, but this time it was Hector Camacho Jr., 17-year-old son of the former WBC super featherweight and lightweight champion who drew the ire of crowds all over the country.

The boos rained down on junior after it was announced he won the 139-pound title Friday night at the U.S. Amateur Boxing Championships on an 18-11 decision over Ishe Smith of Las Vegas.

The decision, however, seemed fair, and the crowd probably was booing the name of the winner more than the verdict.

``I’ve gone to my father’s fights, I’m used to it (booing),″ said Camacho, of Orlando, Fla., after winning the match between the two youngest finalists. Smith, also 17, is two months younger than Camacho.

Camacho, an elusive target, built a 14-7 lead after two rounds, and although he tired in the third, he fought back enough to offset Smith’s rally.

``I had an off night, but I still won,″ Camacho said.

Camacho was one of six finalists appearing in their first U.S. championships. The only other winner was Ramases Patterson of Detroit, who beat Donavan Carey of Baton Rouge, La., 24-6 for the 112-pound title.

The importance of boxing technique was evident in the first and last of the 12 bouts.

Alberto Guardado won his third 106-pound title in four years by outboxing Sean Johnson of Washington. Guardado, a classic boxer with all the moves, won the same title in 1993-94, but did not compete last year, when he was a Pan American Games bronze medalist.

Lawrence Clay-Bey of Hartford, Conn., 30-year-old defending super heavyweight champion and a Pan Am Games bronze medalist, outboxed 6-foot-8 Lance Whitaker of Granada Hills, Calif., the 1994 U.S. champion, for two rounds, then knocked him down with a left hook and right and stopped him with two seconds left in the match.

Of the finishing combination, Clay-Bey said, ``I don’t know what it was, but whatever it was, it worked.″

The outstanding boxer award was given to 18-year-old Augustine Sanchez of Las Vegas, who battered 27-year-old William ``Clay″ Jenkins with left hooks, knocked him down twice and stopped him at 1:28 of the second round of the 125-pound final. Jenkins, of the Army at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., was bidding for his first title in his 10th U.S. championships.

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