Titles: World middleweight champion 1970-1977 Record: 87-3-9 with 1 NC Born: August 7, 1942 in Santa Fe, Argentina Years active: 1963-1977 Nickname: None The debate rages, who is the best middleweight of all time? Hagler, Robinson, Cerdan, Kid McCoy, Mickey Walker, Ketchel, Greb or Monzon? Carlos only fought 1 time in the United States, maybe he would be rated the best ever if he had fought more in the USA where many ring historians reside? Monzon's opinion on the matter: "I am much better than Robinson. I'm told he won the middleweight title five times and I only won it once because I beat the champion and never lost to a challenger." If I had to pick one man to win the all time middleweight championship it would be Monzon, especially if the fights were to go the 15 round distance. Given 15 rounds to work with the smart Monzon would find the holes in his foe and be able to frustrate many men with his long arms tricky defense. Maybe Angelo Dundee said it best when describing Monzon "he is the complete fighter!" His was a tall frame (5 feet 11'1/2 inches) for a middleweight, which made him look awkward and stiff in the ring at times. But his very hard jab has to rank among the divisions elite (maybe the best) and he drove hard right hands behind the jabs with great accuracy or hooked off it to mix things up. Opponents would always comment on the problems they had getting past the long reach and accurate jab, even if they could Monzon possessed a granite chin. You could not call Monzon's style flashy or pretty, the best way to describe his style would be deceptive and grimly effective. Monzon is the Larry Holmes of the middleweights as critics try to point to his opposition as his greatest fault since there is no denying his skills or ring record. If it was not his physical skill than it was his mental toughness which separated Monzon from the others. Outside of the ring Monzon was the exact opposite, flamboyant, flashy, and a bit pompous. Once Monzon started to make money and earn fame he embraced the playboy lifestyle of the 1970's. Fast cars, fast women, expensive clothes and lots of drink. It is amazing how Monzon held on to his title through all the abuse he put his body through outside of the ring. Monzon might have made up for this in training, he only did roadwork a month before the fight, running for 45 minutes each morning, and he never went all out in sparring. Monzon's name was as likely to appear in gossip columns as the sports page during his reign. HBO analyst (in 1973 still a sports writer) Larry Merchant described Monzon the first time he meet him as "Stately, with the bearing of a Inca chief. He fights with a imperial fury". Monzon was quoted before his one title defense in the USA against Tony Licata "after the fight I will smoke a cigarette, drink a cold glass of wine and go make a movie." He knocked Licata out in the 10th, and went on to do what he stated before the fight...... this was Monzon at his best and worst. Even as he was the most famous man in his country and the toast of Paris nightclubs he never forgot the slums from which he rose from. On Christmas and other special occasions he would fill up a truck with toys to distribute to the children of his old village. Monzon never forgot his old friends and remained loyal to them without being dragged back into the slums which was no easy feat. Much of his loyalty to the people of the slums stemmed from his native Indian heritage, this prevented him from ever being fully accepted in the upper classes of Argentine society. This and other facets of his early life gave him the anger which was to drive him to greatness. "All of his life he is angry" was the quote of his life long manager Tito Lectoure. Emile Griffith called him "Nasty" and booking agents referred to him as "hot tempered". That anger made him a great boxer but also put Monzon in jail. After his boxing career had ended a 46 year old Monzon was convicted of strangling his estranged wife Alicia Muniz to unconsciousness, then throwing her body of a balcony in a jealous rage. Monzon was sentenced to 11 years in jail which he was still serving at the time of his death. Rightfully this has taken away from Monzon's legacy, but a check of his in the ring performance is astounding! Monzon was 1972's Fighter of the Year as voted by "The Ring" and The Boxing Writer Association and perhaps the best fighter of the decade. He was involved in the fight of the year in 1970 in which he knocked out Nino Benvenuti in the 12th as voted by "The Ring" Magazine. Monzon sports a brilliant ring career which includes 88 wins, three losses (all avenged) nine draws and one no decision. He retired as champion while on an 82-bout unbeaten streak which spanned 12 years, eight months, and 11 days. The 82 bouts without a loss is not a record, but can only be matched by other ring legends. At middleweight Carlos holds the record for the longest reign as king of the 160 pounders (6 years, 8 months and 23 days beating the old mark of five years, 7 1/2 months by Tony Zale) and his 14 successful title defenses (in a day when there was only ONE world champion) doubled the previous middleweight mark of 7. He did all this while living a playboy/jetset lifestyle that should have taken away from his ring skills. In his 14 title defenses (10 within the distance), Monzon defeated five former world champions Nino Benvenuti, Emile Griffith, Denny Moyer, Jose Napoles and Rodrigo Valdez and was a 3-1 underdog when he knocked out reigning middleweight champion Nino Benvenuti. He also defeated Benvenuti in 3 short rounds in the return match following the second of Nino's two trips to the canvas in the final stanza. His .871 winning percentage is only bested by four former title holders titleholders, Marcel Cerdan (.964), Nino Benvenuti (.911), Freddie Steele and Randy Turpin (both .880). Even though he was not a devastating one punch kayo artist, with 60 knockouts (none in the first round) in his 101 bouts, Monzon has a kayo percentage of .594 (but could have been much higher were it not for his chronically injured right hand). That is only beaten by three other middleweight champions Stanley Ketchel (.754), Terry Downes (.628) and Rocky Graziano (.627). Also remember that for the last 5 years and 8 title defenses Monzon fought with a bullet lodged in his left shoulder...... courtesy of his ex-wife who shot him in the forearm and shoulder during a argument. Those are all impressive, still most who saw him will tell you it was the intangibles and boxing instincts of Monzon that truly made him great! As a boy Monzon crew up one of 12 children and began to work at the age of 6 selling newspapers, shining shoes and delivering milk. Eventually Monzon found his way to Club Athletico Union De Santa Fe where trainer Amilcar Brusa took "a skinny kid with rage in his eyes" in. Brusa fed him, trained him, bailed him out of jail (for starting a riot at a soccer game and brawling on a bus among other things) and eventually developed a legend of the ring. As a amateur Brusa led and taught Monzon to 73 wins in his 87 amateur bouts. At age 21 Carlos Monzon got off to a less than glamorous start as a pro. Monzon went 16 and 3 with one no contest in his first twenty professional fights and then won 14 of his next 20, being held to a draw on six occasions. But Monzon would continue to win, with only three draws to take away from a perfect record over his next forty fights. Included in that stretch was a ten round draw with Bennie Briscoe whom no one else wanted to fight. Monzon's early record is littered with good boxers who are not highly acclaimed in the USA. Among the victims of Monzon during his rise in the Argentine rankings were Cele Lima and Antonio Aguilar who both represented the then boxing mad country at the Olympics. In the first fights with both Monzon drew with Lima and lost to Aguilar before defeating both in rematches. After dropping the 10-round decision to Aguilar, Carlos outpointed Aguilar once and knocked him out in their next two meetings. His other losses to Felipe Cambeiro and Alberto Massi were also avenged. Monzon lost a eight round decision to Felipe Cambeiro but beat him via decision a month later. Alberto Massi scored a 10-round decision over Monzon on Nov. 9 1964, but was knocked out by Monzon two years later. Early on Monzon averaged a fight a month. Monzon won the Argentine middleweight title from Ramon Rocha in 1966 with a record of 29-3-6 but there was no doubt Carlos was getting better and learning from every bout. A year later Monzon won the South American middleweight title from Jorge Fernandez via 12 round decision. It would still take Monzon two more years of winning before he was even ranked in "The Ring" magazine top 10 middleweights. When Monzon traveled to Rome Italy to face reigning champion Nino Benvenuti he was almost unheard of in the boxing world. Most had assumed his 82-3-9 record was the result of the poor opposition he faced in Argentina and gave him no chance to beat the popular Italian champ. This was the first time Monzon had even fought outside of South America. Benvenuti was also considered one of the best boxers pound for pound of the time, not to mention that the fight was to take place in Rome. The venue of Palazzo Dello Sport was notorious for helping it's favorite sons win fights in unusual manner when losing to foreign opponents. From the beginning however Monzon fought aggressively scoring whenever he wanted with his jab to the shorter Benvenuti's head. Form round 3 on it was obvious that it would take a miracle for Nino to win. In the 7th it got even worse for Benvenuti when he was staggered by a straight right hand and was hopelessly behind on points. The fight ended with a left hook followed by a perfect straight right hand to the head of Benvenuti in the 12th round that put Benvenuti down and out. This earned Monzon the middleweight championship which he would not relinquish for 7 years! The rematch with Benvenuti would silence all doubters of Monzon and clearly show who was the better of the two boxers. This time the fight took place in Monte Carlo and the first of the 3 rounds was uneventful at best with both feeling each other out. In the second however Monzon scored a knockdown using a left hook that Benvenuti had not looked for since Monzon did not use the punch much in their first meeting. The third and final round ended with Benvenuti staggered by a right hand and his corner throwing in the towel before any more damage could be dealt out. Emile Griffith would be next in line to challenge Monzon and he had two cracks at Monzon as well. The first time Griffith was stopped at 2:40 of the 14th round on Sep. 25, 1971 at Luna Park in Buenos Aires. Many thought Griffith who had fought many world title fights would outsmart the new champion. But Monzon used his 5 inch reach advantage to perfection, patiently jabbing and hooking off it when Griffith would dip his head low. Still the judges had it a close fight before Monzon ended the fight in the 14th round when he sent a flurry of punches on a dazed Griffith who was rendered helpless against the ropes. A easy third round kayo of Fraser Scott followed. In his next fight against former champ Denny Moorer things got harder. At one point Monzon was pushed out of the ring during the fight. Monzon fought badly early probably losing 3 of the first 4 rounds but in the 5th Monzon caught Moyer with his patented right hand sending him to the canvas. During the follow-up barrage Moyer seemed to be protecting himself but the referee decided to stop the fight. At the time it was considered a controversial stopage but Monzon was coming on and most think the fight would have ended within 4 to 5 rounds anyway. France's Jean Claude Bouttier, like Griffith, had two cracks at Carlos' crown but was found wanting both times. In their first fight on June 17, 1972, Bouttier was down once and had lost all 12 rounds on referee Rudolph Durst's scorecard when his manager Jean Bretonnel refused to let him answer the bell for round 13. On Sept. 29, 1973, Bouttier got a second chance and more than held his own for the first 12 rounds. But the Frenchman ran out of gas and was decked in each of the last three rounds as Monzon won a unanimous decision by scores of 145-139, 147-138 and 148-145. Danish challenger Tom Boggs made the mistake of opening a cut over Monzon's left eye in the fourth round of their Aug. 19, 1972, title tiff and then paid for his "crime" by making three trips to the canvas in the fifth round before referee Harry Gibbs ordered a ceasefire. There was still doubt about who the best middleweight in the world was as "Bad" Bennie Briscoe was thought by the American writer to be better than the reigning champ since he held Monzon to a draw in Argentina while both were still middleweight contenders. Their second fight was held in Luna Park, Buenos Aires and it was obvious from the start that Monzon had gotten better. Briscoe attacked in every round but his bob and weave style was now being accurately countered with the hard jab of Monzon. Only the 9th and 15th round were close by any standard. Except for a ninth round flurry when he Brisco staggered Carlos, the Philadelphian was completely outclassed in dropping a 15 round decision by scores of 150-139, 149-137 and 149-143. The straight right hand was landing with regularity impressing the judges as Briscoe could not get out of the way of them.In the end Monzon would say "Any of the punches I hit him with would have floored another rival". Lee Roy Dale was knocked out in 5 easy rounds in Carlos' next fight. Against Griffith in their second fight at Louis II stadium in Monte Carlo they went the 15 round route on June 2, 1973. This time the fight was much closer and Monzon had to rally over the final five rounds to outpoint Griffith 147- 145, 147-144 and 147-143 for his 8th title defense. Maybe Monzon took Griffith to lightly and in fact Monzon came in overweight on the day of the fight and had to run 3 miles to get down to the middleweight limit. After 10 rounds Monzon was behind on points before Griffith began to fade and the right hands began to catch Griffith flush instead of grazing him as they did earlier. Griffith said of Monzon "Carlos is a first class champion. He is a better fighter than Nino Benvenuti ever was." On Feb. 9, 1974, Monzon took on world welterweight champion Jose Napoles in a much anticipated bout held in Paris. It was billed as a match between two of the best modern day champions of the time. But once again Carlos made full use of his height and reach advantage to literally toy with Napoles from the fifth round until Jose's cornerman Angelo Dundee told the referee that Napoles had enough before the bell rang for round seven. Over the first 4 rounds Monzon dominated with his jab before opening up with combinations from the 5th round on. Napoles claimed a thumb in the right eye had helped do him in, however Dundee was very impressed by Monzon. Dundee said "Monzon is the complete fighter. He can box, he can hit, he can think and he is game all the way." Monzon seemed disappointed after the fight stating "I was hoping to have a good match." Monzon was stripped of his title by the WBC shortly after the victory over Napoles under the pretext that he refused to provide the WBC with a urine sample after the victory over Jose and that he had failed to live up to an agreement to fight Rodrigo Valdez within 90 days after beating Napoles. Any doubts from Australia that Monzon was ducking Tony Mundine were put to rest when Monzon knocked out Mundine at 1:20 of the seventh round. Monzon now made his only American ring appearance on June 10, 1975, when he took on challenger Tony Licata at Madison Square Garden. Licata showed plenty of courage but little else as Carlos scored three knockdowns before the referee called a halt at 2:43 of the 10th round. France's Gratien Tonna was Monzon's next challenger but didn't provide much of a challenge as Carlos' first good punch, a right to the head, sent Tonna to the canvas where he took the 10 count on his knees in round five. The much hyped showdown with Rodrigo Valdez who now laid claim to the WBC championship by kayoing Bennie Briscoe and then making successful 5 defenses was set for June 26, 1976. The fight was for national and personal pride, Monzon stated "I am going to let him last the full 15 rounds. That way I can watch him bleed slowly." But the fight failed to live to expectations even if it did clear up the confusion surrounding who the best middleweight was. The fight held in Monte Carlo and again the recurring theme of Monzon's great jab and straight hand took full effect. Whenever Valdez would begin a combination or single blow he would run into a jab which was followed by a right hand or clinch. The final exclamation point 14th when Monzon scored a knockdown en route to a unanimous decision win by the closer than expect scores of 146-144, 147-145 and 148-144. The scores would set up a second fight which was postponed for 3 weeks because of a cut sustained by Monzon in training. In this fight Valdez got off to a fast start, sending Monzon to the canvas with a right cross (the first time Monzon had been down in 13 years) to the head in the second round. But Rodriguez was unable to follow up on the advantage. Monzon rallied in rounds four, five and six keeping his cool by scoring with precision like right hand leads (forgoing his jab) and counters as Valdes swung wildly, showing visible sings of tiring. Valdez made a short rally round seven and eight evening the fight at the midway mark. The tide turned once again and dramatically in round 10 when Monzon opened a cut over Rodrigo's left eye and with his right eye swelling shut Valdez became a sitting duck for the sharp shooting Monzon. Carlos also claimed he injured his right hand in round 10 but was a winner on the scorecards of referee Roland Dakin 146-141, Heinz Halbach 147-144 and Mario Folette 145-143. The Ring magazine score had Monzon in front 146-140. Monzon collected a career high $500,000 for the fight but after Monzon immediately retired stating "I think I showed everyone I'm one of the great ones. It's definite now, I dedicate this final victory to my country." It was a worthy exit for a boxing legend who was the king of all he surveyed. Monzon now drifted off into retirement with 14 of his last 16 fights being title defenses. After his retirement from the ring Monzon was set for life financially. He owned a 1,750 acre ranch (Esperanza - the hope), 12 apartment buildings and a variety of business interests (which were not successful and lost him more money than he made). But Monzon could never find anything to hold his attention like boxing did. The one thing he did try his hand at and wanted badly was acting during his boxing career he acted in the movies "The count is over", "La Mary", and "El Machodo" and now wanted to do this full time. While he had done acting while he was champion he now found as his fame decreased he was no longer wanted. As his acting career dissipated some shady characters began to hang out with Monzon. Carlos began to drink heavily and even reportedly experiment with cocaine. In 1979 he meet dancer Alicia Muniz at a airport waiting for his flight to Paris and for 9 years they were to have a stormy love/hate relationship and give Monzon his son Maximiliano. Their relationship came to a horrible end when Monzon strangled Alicia to death in a jealous rage before throwing her off a balcony. Monzon was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June 1991. On January 8th, 1995 the life of Carlos Monzon came to a end on a lonely stretch of highway in Santa Rosa de Calchines, only 50 miles from his hometown, when the car he was driving went out of control and crashed. Monzon was returning to jail from a weekend furlough (given to him for good behavior) when his car flipped repeatedly throwing Monzon from the car where he died before help could arrive. Monzon was 52 years old at the time of his death. Over 30,000 people came to his funeral and Monzon's casket was passed along by his fans to his final resting place. In 1996 a statue of Monzon was erected by the poor of Santa Fe people who had always stood by "their" Monzon.
-1963- 6 Feb Ramon Montenegro Argentina KO2 13 Mar Albino Veron Argentina NC1 9 Apr Albino Veron Argentina KO 2 26 Apr Mario Suarez Argentina KO7 3 May Raul Rivas Argentina KO5 31 May Jose Rodriguez Argentina KO5 17 Jul Andres Cejas Argentina KO4 9 Aug Lisandro Guzman Argentina KO3 28 Aug Antonio Aguilar Argentina L10 18 Oct Benito Sanchez Argentina KO8 6 Dec Rene Sosa Argentina KO6 -1964- 17 Jan Roberto Carabajal Argentina KO8 13 Jun Angel Coria Argentina W8 28 Jun Felipe Cambeiro Brazil L8 10 Jul Roberto Carabajal Argentina W10 24 Jul Walter Villa Argentina KO9 14 Aug Juan Diaz Argentina KO9 4 Sep Americo Vaca Argentina KO3 25 Sep Francisco Olea Argentina KO9 9 Oct Alberto Massi Argentina L10 28 Oct Francisco Gelabert Argentina KO4 18 Nov Celedonio Lima Argentina D10 -1965- 8 Jan Andres Selpa Argentina D10 11 Mar Andres Selpa Argentina W10 9 Apr Emilio Ale-Ali Argentina D10 19 May Anibal Cordoba Argentina W10 14 Jul Alberto Redondo Argentina KO8 31 Jul Felipe Cambeiro Brazil W8 14 Aug Manoel Severino Brazil D8 28 Aug Manoel Severino Brazil D8 6 Oct Gregorio Gomez Argentina W10 17 Nov Celedonio Lima Argentina KO5 8 Dec Antonio Aguilar Argentina W10 29 Dec Carlos Salinas Argentina W10 -1966- 4 Feb Ramon Rocha Argentina W10 17 Feb Norberto Juncos Argentina KO7 29 Apr Ismael Hamze Argentina KO9 3 Jun Marcos Bustos Argentina D10 8 Jul Benito Sanchez Argentina KO4 3 Sep Jorge Fernandez Argentina W12 1 Oct Angel Coria Argentina W10 18 Nov Luis Pereyra Argentina KO2 2 Dec Alberto Massi Argentina KO8 23 Dec Marcelo Farias Argentina KO3 -1967- 13 Jan Carlos Salinas Argentina KO8 27 Jan Eudoro Robledo Argentina KO4 15 Feb Alberto Massi Argentina W10 9 Mar Osvaldo Marino Argentina KO7 25 Mar Angel Coria Argentina KO6 9 Apr Benito Sanchez Argentina KO3 6 May Bennie Briscoe Argentina D10 10 Jun Jorge Fernandez Argentina W12 29 Jul Antonio Aguilar Argentina KO9 16 Aug Tito Marshall Argentina W10 8 Sep Ramon Rocha Argentina W10 6 Oct Carlos Estrada Argentina KO7 20 Oct Ramon Rocha Argentina KO7 18 Nov Tito Marshall Argentina W10 -1968- 15 Apr Juan Aguilar Argentina D10 17 May Alberto Massi Argentina W10 19 Jun Juan Aguilar Argentina W10 5 Jul Benito Sanchez Argentina KO4 14 Aug Douglas Huntley Argentina KO4 23 Oct Charlie Austin Argentina W10 7 Dec Johnny Brooks Argentina W10 20 Dec Emilio Ale-Ali Argentina W10 -1969- 10 Jan Ruben Orrico Argentina KO9 14 Mar Mario Taborda Argentina KO3 25 Apr Carlos Salinas Argentina D10 6 Jun Carlos Salinas Argentina KO7 5 Jul Harold Richardson Argentina KO3 9 Aug Tom Bethea Argentina W10 5 Sep Emilio Ale-Ali Argentina KO7 27 Sep Manoel Severino Argentina KO6 12 Dec Carlos Estrada Argentina KO2 -1970- 11 Feb Antonio Aguilar Argentina KO6 7 Mar Juan Aguilar Argentina KO9 17 Apr Adolfo Cardozo Argentina KO3 18 Jul Eddie Pace Argentina W10 19 Sep Candy Rosa Argentina KO4 7 Nov Nino Benvenuti Italy KO12 (Won World Middleweight Title) 19 Dec Charlie Austin Argentina KO2 -1971- 19 Feb Domingo Guerrero Argentina KO2 6 Mar Roy Lee Argentina KO2 8 May Nino Benvenuti Monaco KO3 (Retained World Middleweight Title) 25 Sep Emile Griffith Argentina KO14 (Retained World Middleweight Title) 4 Dec Fraser Scott Argentina KO3 -1972- 4 Mar Denny Moyer Italy KO5 (Retained World Middleweight Title) 17 Jun Jean-Claude Bouttier France KO13 (Retained World Middleweight Title) 19 Aug Tom Bogs Denmark KO5 (Retained World Middleweight Title) 11 Nov Bennie Briscoe Argentina W15 (Retained World Middleweight Title) -1973- 5 May Lee Roy Dale Italy KO5 2 Jun Emile Griffith Monaco W15 (Retained World Middleweight Title) 29 Sep Jean-Claude Bouttier France W15 (Retained World Middleweight Title) -1974- 9 Feb Jose Napoles France KO7 (Retained World Middleweight Title) 5 Oct Tony Mundine Argentina KO7 (Retained World Middleweight Title) -1975- 30 Jun Tony Licata NY KO10 (Retained World Middleweight Title) 13 Dec Gratien Tonna France KO5 (Retained World Middleweight Title) -1976- 26 Jun Rodrigo Valdez Monaco W15 (Retained World Middleweight Title) -1977- 30 Jul Rodrigo Valdez Monaco W15 (Retained World Middleweight Title)