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SELMA - Professional boxer Hector Camacho Jr spent time talking to members of the Selma High wrestling program before the team began practice on Jan. 30.

Camacho Jr. discussed several topics such as giving advice how to hard work, having a work ethic, and the differences between Fresno and New York City. He even answered questions from the curious group of wrestlers in the room.

The message Camacho Jr. wanted to send to the wrestlers was “believe in yourself” and “don’t doubt yourself.”

“I know they’re in high school, but what you do now, could dictate the rest of your life,” Camacho Jr. said. “So take school important, take yourself important, take yourself serious because time flies.”

Various stories Camacho Jr. told the wrestlers were about training with Floyd Mayweather during the 1996 Olympic games and meeting Mike Tyson for the first time in the mid 2000’s.

Camacho Jr., who is the son of late three-time world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho, is currently training in Fresno and is attempting a comeback in boxing. His last official fight was on Jul. 14, 2017 against Orlando Lora of Mexico. It was Camacho Jr’s first fight since 2014.

The young Camacho visit Selma High after assistant wrestling coach Ernie Escalera reached out the boxer’s close friend Alex Diaz on social media after the he saw a post that Camacho was training in the Valley.

When Escalera asked Camacho Jr. to come speak to the athletes, the boxer didn’t hesitate to visit.

“It was good, it was a question and answer [session],” Selma wrestling head coach Sam Lopez said. “He wanted to know about what drives the kids and it wasn’t just him talking. He wanted to know about what was hard for the kids, which I think was good.”

Lopez said he used to watch Hector Camacho Sr. fight “all the time” and he was one of his favorite boxers growing up.

“When you’re a kid, you like the flashy stuff,” Lopez said.

Richard Figueroa was one of the several wrestlers that asked Camacho Jr. questions.

“I learned that you have to work hard, which we do in the wrestling room,” Figueroa said. “Stay dedicated and motivated and just never give up on your dreams. Try to pursue your dreams to be the best.”

Jacob Rivera was another wrestler that enjoyed listening to Camacho Jr. speak, saying the most interesting thing the boxer talked about was his faith.

It’s Camacho Jr’s first trip to the Central Valley since he fought at the Tachi Palace in 2001, which was the first time he traveled to the area.

“I remember it was a packed crowd,” Camacho Jr. said. “I was like ‘Wow, they like boxing in Fresno.’ They like boxing.”

During his short time in Fresno so far, Camacho Jr said he likes the way people treats others compared to various cities he’s traveled to.

“I come here, everybody want to help out,” he said. “Everybody here want to make Fresno a growing place, everybody works for the same cause….oppose to New York, we don’t we see that. Everybody in Fresno seem like they work together as a group.”

Camacho Jr. said he plans to watch Selma wrestle sometime this month at either the CIF Central Section Masters tourney or the state tourney.

“We got him a shirt,” Lopez said.

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Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at 559-583-2413 or jmartinez@hanfordsentinel.com

News Reporter

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