Carlos Monzón got his first world title 39 years ago
Today, November 7, is the anniversary of Carlos Monzon vs Italian Nino Benvenuti’s fight, which consecrated Monzon middleweight champion, title he succesfully defended 14 times before retiring.
Carlos Monzón was the most famous Argentinian boxer, even if not the most technically gifted, and the one who inspired more enthusiasm in the audience, that felt unconditional admiration for him.
Born 7 August, 1942 in San Javier, Province of Santa Fe, he was raised in a humble home being the fifth of thirteen children. At the age of 9 and he began practicing boxing.
The Argentine started with this fight a series of victories against the best in the world at that time, an exceptional career from which he retired undefeated after 14 defenses of the crown.
When Monzon left for Italy, he did so in silence, with very few who went to Ezeiza’s airport to say goodbye. He had a firm goal in mind: to dethrone the then Campeonisimo Nino Benvenutti, in his homeland.
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 Philadelphian 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 Garden, in what would turn out to be Monzón’s only fight in the United States.
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 Carlo when his seconds threw in the towel.
As an amateur he played 87 fights. He won 78, lost 8 and drew 6. He was a middleweight boxer. In 1963 he began his first year as a professional and in 1970 he beat the world middleweight title when he beat Nino Benvenuti, and he retained his title until his retirement in 1977, after successfully defending it 14 times.
After his retirement, he was accused in 1988 of murdering his wife Alicia Muniz, for which he was sentenced to eleven years in prison.
While in the final stage of his sentence, he was allowed to leave at times to work. One of those times he died in a car accident on 8 January, 1995 in the town of Los Cerrillos, Province of Santa Fe.
It is recalled that Monsoon also ventured into film. In 1974 he acted with Susana Gimenez in “La Mary”, which started a romance in real life that led him to divorce his first wife.