Carlos Monzon TKOs Emile Griffith – On September 25th of 1971 WBC/WBA middleweight champion Carlos Monzon defended his titles against Emile Griffith at Estadio Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was the first time Monzon put his titles on the line in front of his hometown fans. He won the titles from Nino Benvenuti in Italy and successfully defended them in a rematch with Benvenuti in Monaco.
Let’s take a look at this historic fight between two Hall of Famers on the occasion of its 45th anniversary.
The action started off slow but picked up quickly in the second round as Monzon looked to keep Griffith on the outside by keeping him on the end of his jab. In the ensuing early rounds Griffith was having success in spots but it was few and far between as his successful shots were typically catching Monzon with his hands down in sporadic spots without consistency. The champion was pumping his jab and staying busy but had not done any damage just yet.
Monzon, four years younger and four inches taller than Griffith, with a five-inch reach advantage, controlled the ring in the early to middle rounds with his superior length but also his excellent footwork, as he turned the challenger and positioned him where he wanted him in the ring. It was not done in a dominating fashion but rather a very subtle way.
It was still a pretty close fight heading into the second half with the action really picking up at the end of the seventh when both men traded their best shots; Monzon getting the better of it. He carried that momentum into the ensuing rounds, with Griffith keeping his distance due to taking punishment whenever he tried to work on the inside.
Monzon started to break down the challenger in the 13th round, pressuring Griffith and punishing him with powerful and accurate blows. In Round 14, Monzon continued pouring on the punishment and Griffith eventually succumbed to the pressure. He was helpless on the ropes with punches raining down on him when the referee waved the fight off. It was only the second time in 82 fights that Griffith was stopped.
Monzon and Griffith met again 22 months later in Monaco. Griffith was still on his feet after 15 rounds, but Monzon retained his title with a unanimous decision. This match didn’t have near the electric feel of the first meeting which was contested before a fervently pro-Monzon crowd, estimated at 20,000, at Argentina’s iconic Luna Park Stadium.
Editor’s Note: Carlos Monzon won his last 31 fights and was undefeated in his last 80 fights with nine draws. Let’s see someone top that.
Carlos Monzon TKOs Emile Griffith / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.