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Carlos Monzón (August 7, 1942 – January 5, 1995) was an Argentinemarker boxer who held the world middleweight title for 7 years, during which he made a then-division record of 14 defenses. His glamorous and violent life was avidly followed by the media, culminating with his trial for the murder of his (common-law) wife and his death in a car crash soon thereafter.

He was adored all over Argentinamarker during his run of 14 title defenses of the world middleweight championship. He was accused many times of domestic violence by his two wives and many mistresses, and of beating paparazzi. He toured all of Latin America and Europe with Argentine and Italianmarker models and actresses. He was accused of killing his (common-law) wife in 1989, and then sentenced to 11 years in jail. He died in a car crash during a weekend furlough. He would have been let free in 2001.

Beginning

Monzón was born in the city of San Javier, Argentina, and moved to the capital of Santa Fe Province, Santa Fe de la Veracruz. As a youngster, he showed interest in boxing.

The start to his professional career did not indicate anything special, as he lost 3 and drew 3 of his first 20 bouts. However, he kept progressing against local foes, and built quite an impressive record. Since most of the opposition in his record was local, he was not given much credit by anyone, other than for being a good middleweight who could fight 10 round bouts.

World Middleweight champion Nino Benvenuti had long had a distinguished career that included championships in 2 divisions and 2 wins in 3 bouts vs all-time great Emile Griffith. He had lost the year before to Americanmarker Tom Bethea in Australia, but in a title rematch in Yugoslaviamarker, he avenged that loss.

Nobody expected Monzón to beat Benvenuti in their title match (very few knew of him). Yet Monzón applied pressure from the start, and in the 12th, a right hand landed perfectly on Benvenuti's chin, and the title changed hands. Monzón also beat Benevenuti in a rematch, this time in only three rounds in Monte Carlomarker when his seconds threw in the towel.

Champion

In 1971 Monzón became only the second man to stop former three-time world champion Emile Griffith in 14 rounds, and later out-pointed him over 15 in a close fight (before the fight Monzón had to spar three rounds and run three miles in order to make the weight). Monzón then scored a win over tough Philadelphianmarker Bennie Briscoe, over-coming a shakey 9th round, in which Briscoe almost scored a knockout; a knockout in five rounds over European champion Tom Bogs, a knockout in seven rounds over world Welterweight champion José Mantequilla Nápoles and a 10 round knockout of tough Tony Licata of New Orleans at the Madison Square Gardenmarker, in what would turn out to be Monzón's only fight in the United Statesmarker.

However, a darker side of Monzón would soon begin to emerge. In 1973, Monzón was shot in the leg by his wife, requiring 7 hours of surgery to remove the bullet. In 1975, he began a very publicized romance with the famous actress and vedette Susana Giménez; they had previously met in the 1974 thriller La Mary, directed by Daniel Tinayre, where the two played husband and wife. Monzón hated paparazzi who detailed his affairs. He went to Italymarker with Giménez to participate in a movie, and started increasingly traveling with her to locations in Brazilmarker and the rest of Latin America, letting himself be seen with her, though still married.

Soon the beatings he gave his wife became public knowledge. Monzón was detained by the police repeatedly. Giménez also began wearing sunglasses more often, presumably to hide her bruises, and many times, paparazzi had to be hospitalized from the beatings suffered at the hands of Monzón, who had unpredictable violent outbreaks. During this period, Monzón divorced his wife, and later re-married another Argentine woman.

Monzón's Middleweight championship title was lifted in 1975 by the WBC for not defending it against mandatory challenger Rodrigo Valdez. Valdez, a Colombianmarker, then won the WBC's title, while Monzón kept the WBA's championship. So in 1976, they finally met, this time, world champion vs. world champion.

Valdez's brother had been shot to death one week prior to the fight and he did not feel like fighting. Still, they were under contract and so the fight took place in Monte Carlomarker and Monzón handed an uninterested Valdez a beating, winning a 15 round unanimous decision and unifying the world title once again. Because of the special circumstances under which Valdez performed, an immediate rematch was ordered, once again in Monte Carlo.

This time, Valdez came out roaring. In the second round, right cross to the chin put Monzón down for the only time in his career. Valdez built a lead through the first half of the fight. Monzón, however, mounted a brilliant comeback and outboxed Valdez for the last 8 rounds, winning a unanimous decision to retain the title and score his 14th title defense.

Retirement

Carlos Monzón with his second wife, Alicia Muñiz in 1982.
Monzón retired after this defense and kept a low public profile through most of the late 1970s and the 1980s. Susana Giménez left him in 1980. After the breakup, Monzón's private life was finally closed to the public, but the beatings continued, this time with his second wife, Alicia Muñiz. In 1988, he allegedly beat Muñiz so many times that she, scared and bloody, ran to the balcony of their second floor apartment. According to the investigation performed later, he followed her there, grabbed her by the neck, and then picked her up and pushed her off the balcony, to her death, after which he followed her in the fall injuring a shoulder.

In 1995, he was given a weekend furlough to visit his family and kids, and upon returning to jail after the weekend, he crashed near the jail building, dying instantly. There have been rumors that he committed suicide by crashing the car, but there has been no evidence found that supports that claim.

His record stands at 87 wins, only three losses, nine draws, and one no contest. Of his wins, 59 came by knockout. His only losses were by points and early in his career. In 2003, he was named by the Ring Magazine as one of the 100 greatest punchers of all time. On the independent computer-based ranking of boxrec.com he is listed as the third best middleweight boxer of all time, after Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Robinson.














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