Carlos Monzón (August 7, 1942 – January 8, 1995) was an Argentine professional boxer who held the Undisputed World Middleweight Championship for 7 years. He successfully defended his title 14 times and is widely regarded as not only one of the best middleweights in history but also one of the greatest boxers of all time. Known for his speed, punching power and relentless work rate, Monzon ended his career with a record of 87-3-9 with 59 knockouts, each one of his losses were early in his career and were avenged. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, he was chosen by The Ring magazine in 2002 as the 11th greatest fighter of the last 80 years and voted him as the best middleweight title holders of the last 50 years in 2011. As of January 2018, Monzón holds the 2nd longest unified championship reign in middleweight history at 9 consecutive defenses.
Argentines adored Monzon throughout his career. His glamorous and violent life was avidly followed both by the media and Argentine people. He was, however, accused many times of domestic violence by his two wives and many mistresses, and of beating paparazzi. Charged with killing his wife Alicia Muñiz in Mar del Plata in 1988, the former champion was sentenced to 11 years in jail. He died in a January 1995 car crash during a weekend furlough.
Monzón was born in the city of San Javier, Argentina. His parents were Roque Monzón and Amalia Ledesma. Monzón was raised in poverty with his twelve siblings. When Monzón was six years old, his family moved to Barranquitas Oeste, a poor neighborhood, of Santa Fe, the capital of Santa Fe Province. To help out his family, he quit school in third grade, working different jobs, such as shoe shiner, paper boy and milk man. As a youngster, he showed an interest in boxing.
When he was sixteen, he met Zulema Encarnación Torres, with whom he had his first son, Carlos Alberto Monzón. Later, on May 11, 1962, he married Mercedes Beatriz García, nicknamed 'Pelusa.' They were so poor that they did not have enough money to buy the marriage license. They had three kids: Silvia Beatriz, Abel Ricardo and Carlos Raúl (adopted).
Monzón had his first amateur fight on October 2, 1959. This first fight ended in a draw. Three years later, after a 73-6-8 amateur record, he became a professional. His first professional bout was held on February 6, 1963. He knocked out his opponent in the second round. In 1966, he won the Argentine Middleweight title. In 1967, he won the South American Middleweight title. After this success, Argentine boxing promoter Juan Carlos Lectoure pushed him into the international boxing scene by organizing fights with foreign boxers such as Douglas Huntley, Charles Austin, Johnny Brooks, Harold Richardson, Tommy Bethea, Manoel Severino and Eddy Pace.
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 American Tom Bethea in Australia, but in an actual title fight in Yugoslavia, 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 Carlo when his seconds threw in the towel.
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 Cuban-Mexican José Mantequilla Nápoles in Paris, France 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.
Monzón's Middleweight Championship title was lifted in 1975 by the WBC for not defending it against mandatory challenger Rodrigo Valdez. Valdez, a Colombian, won the WBC's title, while Monzón kept the WBA's Championship. 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, the fight went on, as they were both under contract. It took place in Monte Carlo. Monzón handed Valdez a beating, winning a 15-round unanimous decision and unifying the world title once again. Facing a lack of good challengers, Monzón was offered a high purse to again fight the Colombian.
The second fight was different. Monzón-Valdez II is a classic. Valdez came out roaring this time. In the second round, right cross to the chin put Monzón down for the first and only time in his career. Valdez built a lead through the first part 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.
Monzón retired after the second Valdez fight defense. 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 second best middleweight boxer of all time after Sugar Ray Robinson.
Before retirement, in 1974, he starred in La Mary, a hit movie directed by Daniel Tinayre. After retirement, he participated as an actor in a couple of Argentine movies, which were not very successful, and TV shows.
Monzón was tremendously popular throughout his career. During Monzon's fights, Argentina would stand still, cities had no traffic, and all TV sets and radios were tuned to the fight. While filming La Mary, he met famous Argentine actress and model Susana Giménez. They started a tumultuous relationship, which led to Monzón's divorce. Since then, his glamorous and sometimes violent life was avidly followed by the media. He toured Latin America and Europe with Argentine and Italian models and actresses.
While still a champion, a darker side of Monzón began to emerge. In 1973, Monzón was shot in the leg by his wife, requiring seven hours of surgery to remove the bullet. In 1975, he began a very publicized romance with 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 Italy with Giménez to participate in a movie, and started increasingly traveling with her to locations in Brazil and the rest of Latin America, allowing himself be seen with her, although still married. He was accused of domestic violence and of beating paparazzi.
Soon the beatings he gave Giménez became public knowledge. Monzón was repeatedly detained by the police. Giménez 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.
Susana Giménez left him in 1978. After the breakup, Monzón's private life was fairly low key. In 1979, he met Uruguayan model Alicia Muñiz, with whom he had an on-and-off relationship for many years. They eventually married and had a child together, Maximiliano Roque. But his violent behavior continued. In 1988, while vacationing in the resort city of Mar del Plata, after a heated argument, he beat Muñiz, followed her to the balcony of their second floor apartment and, presumably after a physical fight, threw her off the balcony and jumped after her. According to the investigation he strangled her, picked her up and pushed her off the balcony, killing her, after which he followed her in the fall, injuring his shoulder. In 1989, he was found guilty of homicide. He received an 11-year prison sentence.
On January 1995, Monzón was given a weekend furlough while serving his term in Cárcel de Las Flores, Santa Fe Province, to visit his family and children. On January 8, 1995, when returning to jail after the weekend, he and a passenger, Gerónimo Domingo Mottura, were killed instantly when the vehicle rolled over near Santa Rosa de Calchines. The other passenger, Monzon's sister-in-law Alicia Guadalupe Fessia, was injured.
Even in death, Monzón drew a crowd. Thousands sang "Dale campeón" ("Go Champ") during his funeral.
|87 Wins (59 knockouts, 28 decisions), 3 Losses, 9 Draws, 1 No Contest|
|Win||87-3-9||Rodrigo Valdéz||UD||15||1977-07-30||Stade Louis II, Fontvieille, Monte Carlo||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||86-3-9||Rodrigo Valdéz||UD||15||1976-06-26||Stade Louis II, Fontvieille, Monte Carlo||Retained WBA, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.
Won WBC Middleweight title.
|Win||85-3-9||Gratien Tonna||KO||5 (15)||1975-12-13||Nouvelle Hippodrome, Paris, Île-de-France||Retained WBA, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||84-3-9||Tony Licata||TKO||10 (15), 2:43||1975-06-30||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York||Retained WBA, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||83-3-9||Tony Mundine||KO||7 (15)||1974-10-05||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal||Retained WBA, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||82-3-9||José Nápoles||RTD||7 (15), 3:00||1974-02-09||Puteaux, Hauts-de-Seine||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||81-3-9||Jean-Claude Bouttier||UD||15||1973-09-29||Stade Roland Garros, Paris, Île-de-France||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||80-3-9||Emile Griffith||UD||15||1973-06-02||Stade Louis II, Fontvieille, Monte Carlo||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||79-3-9||Roy Dale||KO||5 (10)||1973-05-05||Palazzetto dello Sport, Rome, Lazio||A non-title fight.|
|Win||78-3-9||Bennie Briscoe||UD||15||1972-11-11||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||77-3-9||Tom Bogs||TKO||5 (15)||1972-08-19||Idraetsparken, Copenhagen||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||76-3-9||Jean-Claude Bouttier||TKO||13 (15)||1972-06-17||Colombes Stadium, Paris, Île-de-France||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||75-3-9||Denny Moyer||TKO||5 (15), 1:50||1972-03-04||Palazzetto dello Sport, Rome, Lazio||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||74-3-9||Fraser Scott||TKO||3 (10), 0:01||1971-12-04||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal||A non-title fight.|
|Win||73-3-9||Emile Griffith||TKO||14 (15), 2:32||1971-09-25||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||72-3-9||Nino Benvenuti||TKO||3 (15), 1:05||1971-05-08||Stade Louis II, Fontvieille, Monte Carlo||Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.|
|Win||71-3-9||Roy Lee||KO||2 (10)||1971-03-06||Santa Fe, Santa Fe||A non-title fight.|
|Win||70-3-9||Domingo Guerrero||KO||2 (10)||1971-02-19||Salta, Salta||A non-title fight.|
|Win||69-3-9||Charley Austin||KO||2 (10)||1970-12-19||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal||A non-title fight.|
|Win||68-3-9||Nino Benvenuti||TKO||12 (15)||1970-11-07||Palazzetto dello Sport, Rome, Lazio||Won WBA, WBC, The Ring & Lineal Middleweight titles.
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1970)
|Win||67-3-9||Santiago Rosa||KO||4 (10)||1970-09-19||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||66-3-9||Eddie Pace||PTS||10||1970-07-18||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||65-3-9||Adolfo Jorge Cardozo||TKO||3 (10)||1970-04-18||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||64-3-9||Juan Aguilar||RTD||9 (10)||1970-03-07||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Win||63-3-9||Antonio Aguilar||KO||5 (12)||1970-02-11||Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires||Retained Argentina (FAB) Middleweight title|
|Win||62-3-9||Carlos Estrada||KO||2 (10)||1969-12-12||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Win||61-3-9||Manoel Severino||KO||6 (12)||1969-09-27||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal||Retained South American Middleweight title|
|Win||60-3-9||Emilio Ale Ali||TKO||7 (10)||1969-09-05||San Miguel, Tucumán|
|Win||59-3-9||Tom Bethea||PTS||10||1969-08-09||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||58-3-9||Harold Richardson||KO||3 (10)||1969-07-05||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||57-3-9||Carlos Alberto Salinas||TKO||7 (10)||1969-06-06||Paraná, Entre Ríos|
|Draw||56-3-9||Carlos Alberto Salinas||PTS||10||1969-04-25||Recreativo Bochas Club, Paraná, Entre Ríos|
|Win||56-3-8||Mario Taborda||KO||3 (10)||1969-03-14||Club Sportivo, Presidencia Roque Saenz Pena, Chaco|
|Win||55-3-8||Ruben Orrico||KO||9 (12)||1969-01-10||Santa Fe, Santa Fe||Retained South American Middleweight title|
|Win||54-3-8||Emilio Ale Ali||PTS||10||1968-12-20||Mendoza, Mendoza|
|Win||53-3-8||Johnny Brooks||PTS||10||1968-12-07||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||52-3-8||Charley Austin||UD||10||1968-10-23||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||51-3-8||Doug Huntley||KO||4 (10)||1968-08-14||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||50-3-8||Benito Sanchez||KO||4 (10)||1968-07-05||Chaco, Chaco|
|Win||49-3-8||Juan Aguilar||PTS||10||1968-06-20||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||48-3-8||Alberto Massi||PTS||10||1968-05-17||Córdoba, Córdoba|
|Draw||47-3-8||Juan Aguilar||PTS||10||1968-04-05||Mendoza, Mendoza|
|Win||47-3-7||Tito Marshall||PTS||10||1967-11-18||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||46-3-7||Ramon D Rocha||KO||7 (10)||1967-10-20||San Juan, La Rioja|
|Win||45-3-7||Carlos Estrada||KO||7 (10)||1967-10-06||Trelew, Chubut|
|Win||44-3-7||Ramon D Rocha||PTS||10||1967-09-08||Rosario, Santa Fe|
|Win||43-3-7||Tito Marshall||PTS||10||1967-08-16||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||42-3-7||Antonio Aguilar||KO||9 (10)||1967-07-29||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||41-3-7||Jorge Fernandez||UD||12||1967-06-10||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal||Won South American Middleweight title|
|Draw||40-3-7||Bennie Briscoe||PTS||12||1967-05-06||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||40-3-6||Benito Sanchez||TKO||3 (10)||1967-04-09||Santa Elena, Entre Ríos|
|Win||39-3-6||Angel Alberto Coria||KO||6 (10)||1967-03-25||Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires|
|Win||38-3-6||Osvaldo Marino||KO||7 (10)||1967-03-09||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Win||37-3-6||Alberto Massi||PTS||10||1967-02-15||San Francisco, Santa Fe|
|Win||36-3-6||Eudoro Robledo||KO||4 (10)||1967-01-27||Charata, Chaco|
|Win||35-3-6||Carlos Alberto Salinas||KO||8 (10)||1967-01-13||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Win||34-3-6||Marcelo Farias||KO||3 (10)||1966-12-23||San Cristóbal, Santa Fe|
|Win||33-3-6||Alberto Massi||TKO||8 (10)||1966-12-02||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Win||32-3-6||Luis Antonio Pereyra||TKO||2 (10)||1966-11-18||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Win||31-3-6||Angel Alberto Coria||PTS||10||1966-10-01||Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires|
|Win||30-3-6||Jorge Fernandez||UD||12||1966-09-03||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal||Won Argentina (FAB) Middleweight title|
|Win||29-3-6||Benito Sanchez||KO||4 (10)||1966-07-08||San Pereyra|
|Draw||28-3-6||Ubaldo Marcos Bustos||PTS||10||1966-06-03||Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz|
|Win||28-3-5||Ismael Hamze||TKO||9 (10)||1966-04-29||San Nicolas, Santiago del Estero|
|Win||27-3-5||Norberto Juncos||KO||7 (10)||1966-02-17||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Win||26-3-5||Ramon D Rocha||PTS||10||1966-02-04||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Win||25-3-5||Carlos Alberto Salinas||PTS||10||1965-12-29||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||24-3-5||Antonio Aguilar||PTS||10||1965-12-08||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||23-3-5||Celedonio Lima||KO||5 (10)||1965-11-17||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||22-3-5||Gregorio Gomez||PTS||10||1965-10-06||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Draw||21-3-5||Manoel Severino||PTS||8||1965-08-28||Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro|
|Draw||21-3-4||Manoel Severino||PTS||8||1965-08-14||Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro|
|Win||21-3-3||Felipe Cambeiro||PTS||8||1965-08-01||São Paulo, São Paulo|
|Win||20-3-3||Alberto Retondo||TKO||8 (10)||1965-07-14||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||19-3-3||Anibal Cordoba||PTS||10||1965-05-19||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Draw||18-3-3||Emilio Ale Ali||PTS||10||1965-04-09||San Miguel, Tucumán|
|Win||18-3-2||Andres Antonio Selpa||PTS||10||1965-03-11||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|Draw||17-3-2||Andres Antonio Selpa||PTS||10||1965-01-08||Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires|
|Draw||17-3-1||Celedonio Lima||PTS||10||1964-11-18||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||17–3||Francisco Gilabert||RTD||4 (10)||1964-10-28||Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Loss||16–3||Alberto Massi||UD||10||1964-10-09||Cordoba Sport Club, Córdoba, Córdoba|
|Win||16–2||Francisco Olea||KO||9 (10)||1964-09-25||Tostado, Santa Fe|
|Win||15–2||Americo Vacca||KO||3 (10)||1964-09-04||Paraná, Entre Ríos|
|Win||14–2||Juan Carlos Diaz||KO||9 (10)||1964-08-14||Villa Ángela, Chaco|
|Win||13–2||Walter Villa||KO||9 (10)||1964-07-24||Ceres, Santa Fe|
|Win||12–2||Roberto Eduardo Carabajal||PTS||10||1964-07-10||Tostado, Santa Fe|
|Loss||11–2||Felipe Cambeiro||PTS||8||1964-06-28||Auditorium Río TV, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro|
|Win||11–1||Angel Alberto Coria||PTS||8||1964-06-13||Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires|
|Win||10–1||Roberto Eduardo Carabajal||KO||8 (8)||1964-01-17||Paraná, Entre Ríos|
|Win||9–1||Rene Sosa||KO||6 (8)||1963-12-06||Paraná, Entre Ríos|
|Win||8–1||Benito Sanchez||KO||8 (10)||1963-10-18||Reconquista, Santa Fe|
|Loss||7–1||Antonio Aguilar||PTS||10||1963-08-28||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||7–0||Lisandro Guzmán||KO||3 (8)||1963-08-09||Córdoba, Córdoba|
|Win||6–0||Andres Cejas||KO||4 (6)||1963-07-17||Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal|
|Win||5–0||Jose N Rodriguez||KO||5 (6)||1963-05-31||Paraná, Entre Ríos|
|Win||4–0||Raul Elio Rivas||KO||5 (10)||1963-05-03||Posadas, Misiones|
|Win||3–0||Mario Suarez||TKO||8 (10)||1963-04-12||Posadas, Misiones|
|Win||2–0||Albino Veron||TKO||2 (6)||1963-04-09||Santa Fe, Santa Fe|
|NC||1–0||Albino Veron||N/D||1 (6)||1963-03-13||Vila, Santa Fe|
|Win||1-0||Ramón Montenegro||KO||2 (6)||1963-02-06||Club Sportivo Ben Hur, Rafaela, Santa Fe||Professional Debut|
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|Olimpia de Oro
|WBC Middleweight Champion
November 7, 1970 - May 25, 1974
Title next held byRodrigo Valdez
|WBA Middleweight Champion
November 7, 1970 - July 30, 1977
|The Ring Middleweight Champion
November 7, 1970 - July 30, 1977
|Lineal Middleweight Champion
November 7, 1970 - July 30, 1977
|WBC Middleweight Champion
June 26, 1976 - July 30, 1977