Carlos Monzon was born on August 7, 1942, in San Javier, Argentina to Roque Monzon and Amalia Ledesma. He was born into poverty along with twelve siblings in the slums of Argentina. Like many boxers that grow up poor, Monzon used boxing as a vehicle to live a better life. He had an inner rage and resentment that helped him become a great boxer. He quit school at an early age to help his family and worked a variety of jobs. Monzon fell in love with boxing at an early age and was discovered by trainer Amilicar Brussa in the Luna Park Gym. He developed Monzon into a great fighter. He had an impressive amateur record of 73 victories, 6 losses, and 8 draws.
He decided to turn pro in 1963 and he knocked out Ramon Montenegro in the second round. Carlos Monzon never lost a fight after 1964 and won his last 81 fights before retiring in 1977. He won 50 consecutive fights from 1964-1970 and was finally named one of the top ten middleweights in the world. Despite his accomplishment, he was relatively unknown outside of Argentina, partly because many boxing experts did not respect the competition he faced. After years of boxing in relative obscurity, Monzon finally received a world middleweight title shot against Nino Benvenuti. On November 7, 1970, he dominated Benvenuti over the first 11 rounds. In the 12th round he knocked out Benvenuti to become the new middleweight champion of the world. The following year, he beat Benvenuti again on a controversial 3rd round technical knockout. Monzon went on to make a then record 14 defenses of his title, including defenses against Emile Griffith and Bennie Briscoe. After two decision victories over Rodrigo Valdez, Carlos Monzon announced his retirement at the age of 35 in 1977.
Unfortunately, Carlos Monzon was just as violent outside of the ring as he was in it. He had a hot temper that often got the best of him. He mentally and physically abused women and was shot by a woman. In 1988, his temper resulted in the tragic death of his second wife Alicia Muniz when he choked and threw her over a balcony which resulted in her death. A jury convicted him of murder and he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. On January 8, 1995, Carlos Monzon was driving back to prison after a weekend furlough when he lost control of his car and died when it crashed in a ditch.
Carlos Monzon is arguably the greatest middleweight champion of all time. He was a complete fighter and could knock out his opponent with either hand. He had outstanding stamina and outstanding punching power. He was six feet tall, had an enormous reach, and knew how to use it. He could take a good punch as well as give one. Remarkably, he was never knocked out in his great 13-year career. He had an outstanding career record with 87 victories, 3 losses, 9 draws, and 1 no-contest, with 59 knockouts. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
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