Monzon stands tall among middleweight greats
Carlos Monzon was born on August 7, 1942, in the small town of San Javier, Santa Fe, Argentina. Growing up in poverty, Monzon learned to fight at a young age to defend himself and his family. He was a rough and tough kid, but he was also a gifted athlete with natural boxing skills.
Monzon started boxing professionally in 1963, and while he had a winning record, he didn’t exactly come out of the starting gate like a rocket. His ledger for the first 20 fights of his career was 16-3, with one “no contest.” Then he sustained draws in five of his next ten bouts.
But it should be noted that over the last 80 bouts of his career, he did not taste defeat.
In September 1966 he defeated Jorge Fernandez for the Argentinian middleweight title, then beat the same man nine months later for the South American crown. It was not until November 1970 that he got his world title opportunity, and as an underdog, he wound up scoring an upset 12th-round TKO over Nino Benvenuti. Monzon went on to defend his title 14 times successfully, and this included two victories over Emile Griffith as well as wins over Jose Napoles and a rematch over Benvenuti, who he dispatched in three rounds.
Monzon capped off his career with two 15-round decisions over Rodrigo Valdez, making a comeback in the latter after falling behind on the scorecards. He then retired from the game before his 35th birthday. Ultimately he would be placed on top ten lists of the greatest middleweights of all-time.
His personal life also produced a lot of drama…. and headlines. Monzon was revered as a national hero in Argentina, and accordingly his every move was chronicled, including affairs he had with glamorous women. Sometimes this landed him in hot water, such as when he was shot in the leg by his first wife. However, it was the second wife who was the subject of the darkest moments. In a domestic altercation, Monzon found himself choking former Uruguayan model Alicia Muniz, then throwing her off a balcony to her death. He was tried and convicted, receiving an eleven-year sentence.
Monzon had received a furlough in January 1995, and on his way back to jail his car flipped and crashed, killing Monzon instantly. And maybe it was ironic that in a life that was highlighted by much in the way of violence, he met his ultimate fate by accident.
Monzon retired from boxing with a record of 87 wins, 3 losses, and 9 draws. After retiring from boxing, Monzon tried his hand at acting, appearing in several Argentine films. He was also involved in several business ventures, including a construction company and a ranch. However, his personal life seemed consisently tumultuous.
In the years since his death, Monzon’s legacy has been both celebrated and criticized. While many remember him as one of the greatest boxers in history, others cannot forgive his violent and abusive behavior outside of the ring. Regardless of his personal life, there is no denying Monzon’s incredible skill and success in the sport of boxing.
Monzon’s impact on the sport of boxing and Argentine culture cannot be overstated. He inspired generations of fighters and will forever be remembered as one of the greatest boxers of all time. Despite his flaws, Monzon will always be remembered for his incredible talent and the excitement he brought to the ring every time he fought. He was not a textbook boxer or puncher, but he developed a style that was incredibly effective, even against other great fighters of his era.
In conclusion, Carlos Monzon’s life and career were filled with ups and downs, but his impact on the sport of boxing will never be forgotten. He was a fierce competitor, a gifted athlete, and a true champion, and his legacy will live on for generations to come.