Monzon'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 Monzon 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 did not feel like fighting.
Still, the fight went on, as they were both under contract. It took
place in Monte Carlo. Monzon handed Valdez a beating, winning a 15
round unanimous decision and unifying the world title once again.
Facing a lack of good challenger, Monzon was offered a high purse
to again fight the Colombian.
The second fight was different,
Monzon-Valdez II is a classic. Valdez came out roaring this time.
In the second round, right cross to the chin put Monzon down for the
first and only time in his career. Valdez built a lead through the
first part of the fight. Monzon, however, mounted a brillant comeback
and outboxed Valez for the last 8 rounds, winning a unanimous decision
to retain the title and score his 14th title defense.
retired after the second Valdez fight defense. His record stood 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-bases
ranking of boxrec.com., he is listed as the second best middleweight
boxer of all time after Sugar Ray Robinson.
victory over Mantequilla Napoles, Angelo Dundee said: "Monzon is the
complete fighter. He can box, he can hit, he can think, and he is
game all the way."
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 successul, and TV shows. A monument to him stands in
Santa Fe, Argentina.
Monzon 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.