Many accolades surround the life and actions of Carlos Monzón, the third best middleweight of all time, wife beater and murderer being just three. The Argentine boxing legend led a roller coaster existence parallel in recent years by other boxers – most notably Edwin Valero.
Born into intense poverty in San Javier, Argentina Monzón was discovered hanging around the famed Luna Park by trainer Amilcar Brusa. Monzón shocked the boxing world when he won the World Middleweight championship from Nino Benvenuti. At this time Monzón was virtually unknown outside of Argentina.
While his boxing career went from strength to strength – he knocked up a career record of 100 fights, 89 wins, 59 wins by KO, only 3 losses and 9 draws. Monzón’s darker side began to surface – the first real hint came in 1973 when he was shot in the leg by his wife. Then (while he was still married) he began a relationship with the actress Susana Giménez, and was accordingly hounded by the paparazzi. Monzón even starred in nine feature films with Giménez – including the no doubt forgettable but wonderfully titled ‘El Macho’. Rumours of domestic abuse circled and evident bruises to the face of Giménez did little to stem the interest. The Paparazzi themselves suffered – several were hospitalised at the hands of Monzón.
As a backdrop to this turmoil, Monzón actually had some of his most defining fights – the two 1976 clashes with fellow Middleweight champion Rodrigo Valdez show just what a great Monzón was – see this excerpt from their second fight:
Retirement saw the violence once again turn from the ring to those around Monzón. After remarrying and again facing likely rumours of continued domestic assault, Monzón took things further. In 1988, he allegedly beat his wife Alicia 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.
The final act in his spirraling life came in 1995 when on a weekend furlong from prison Monzón car sped out of control and he crashed near the prison grounds, dying instantly. Monzón is buried at Cementerio Municipal de Sante, in Santa Fe, Argentina. A life-size figure of Monzon, wearing his championship belt, with his hands raised in victory, stands atop his grave