Unless you are 60 years old or a boxing historian like me, the name Carlos Monzón may be a mystery to you. Let me introduce you to perhaps the greatest middleweight of all time. Mention the word domination and that would define Monzón’s illustrious career. The man ruled the middleweight division from the moment he became champion and even earlier until he retired as champion with a final fight on July 30, 1977.
In a career that began in 1963 with a second-round knockout of Ramón Montenegro in Argentina, Monzón’s home country, the middleweight phenom fought 99 more times and would win all but three of his fights. Born Carlos Roque Monzón Ledesma, Monzón would defend the belt 14 times, a championship he won by beating Nino Benvenuti by KO in the second round. His last defense and last fight were against Rodrigo Valdez and Monzón retired as champion.
In the process of winning 87 out of 100 fights, Monzón knocked out 59 opponents or 68% of his victims. Although he lost only three times, Monzón had nine draws to his record and one no contest decision. The no-contest came in only his second professional fight, his first loss was to Antonio Aguilar in only his eighth fight. A year later, in 1965, Monzón lost to Felipe Cambeiro by decision to make his record 11-2 at that point.
Carlos Monzón’s final defeat came on October 9, 1964 to Alberto Massi by unanimous decision, but he would later score a TKO over Massi after winning the Argentine middleweight championship. Monzón also reversed Cambeiro’s loss by winning a decision in the rematch. He would also fight Antonio Aguilar three more times scoring by KOs and a decision. Thus, from October 9, 1964 until his retirement in 1977, Carlos Monzón would not lose another fight.
Monzón compiled a 71-0-9 record from Aguilar’s loss to Valdez’s final decision victory. Unfortunately, Carlos Monzón had a troubled and turbulent personal life, had a well-known relationship while still married, and then had domestic violence issues with his lover, who would eventually leave him. He became violent with his next wife and the result was her death at his hands, for which he was sent to prison.
In 1995, Monzón was allowed a weekend off from his cell, but upon his return to prison, the vehicle in which he was traveling overturned and Monzón died instantly. But within the squared circle, his reputation for dominance and knocking out opponents remains his legacy, and based on his career in the ring, he is, in fact, one of the most feared fighters in history.