Getting to know Carlos Monzon

Davie

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Jose Napolez vs Hedgemon Lewis

This should be as good a place as any to start, Hedgemon Lewis was a very good contender and Napoles beat him over 15 in 1971, then stopped him in the next fight after Monzon in 1974


Jose Napolez vs Hedgemon Lewis 2
 

Davie

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Jose Napoles vs Ernie Lopez 1

Another fighter he faced twice was Lopez, first in 70


Jose Napoles vs Ernie Lopez 2
 

Davie

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Jose Napoles vs Billy Backus


Jose Napoles vs Billy Backus 2

 

Davie

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Jose Napoles vs Ralph Charles 1971

Jose Napoles Vs Hiracio Augustin Saldano 1974

Jose Napoles vs Armando Muniz 1975

This pretty much captures most of his career either side of Monzon. Can't find footage of his last two fights prior to Monzon and I won't bother with the John H Stracey fight as I've scored that before and remember commenting that Stracey got a shop worn Napoles
 

Davie

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Finally, we need Carlos Monzon vs Jose Napolez in 1974 for the undisputed world middleweight title

 

Davie

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Jose Napolez vs Hedgemon Lewis

This should be as good a place as any to start, Hedgemon Lewis was a very good contender and Napoles beat him over 15 in 1971, then stopped him in the next fight after Monzon in 1974


Jose Napolez vs Hedgemon Lewis 2

Napoles vs Lewis 1.

1. 10-9 Napoles. Hedgemon Lewis starts so well, nice and light on his feet, looks to have a longer reach advantage than the tale of the tape indicates, sharp with the jab. But Napoles is measuring that left hook all fight and catches him with a couple shots that rock him late. Got to give him it for those few effective shots.

2. 9-10 Lewis, he has the edge on speed and lands some decent shots there, Napoles giving him different looks, setting traps, touching the body, trying to draw leads to counter. He looks the heavier handed, it's going to be down to his timing here.

3. 9-10 Lewis. Nice little traps, throws the jab, draws the counter from Napoles and catches him with a check left hook, turned him with it at one point.

4. 10-9 Napoles. Close round, Lewis landing some jabs, Napoles to the body.

5. 10-9 Napoles. Stalking in a half crouch going after the body then springing up with powerful shots, the left hook in particular hurts Lewis here.

6. 10-9 Napoles, looks like he's taking control now, the timing is there, and he's definitely the more effective puncher when he lands

7. 9-10 Lewis. Nice fast jab landing. Napoles scores the odd good shot but he's too quiet i n this round.

8. 9-10 Lewis. Eddie Futch telling us the gameplan is to jab and move, use his speed and feints to draw counters to make openings. Worked here, but you feel he has to tag Napoles with something hard because he will eventually get something solid through

9. 10-9 Napoles. And that's the risk of trying to draw counter punches, you get clipped with them. Napoles gets some good hooks through then finishes the round in close rocking Lewis.

10. 10-9 Napoles. Lewis needs to keep a gap between them and use his feet and fast hands but he's tiring and Napoles never looks out of range. And he always looks dangerous when he is in punching distance.

11. 10-9 Napoles. Very close round, Lewis looked a little sharper but still caught with the more powerful shots.

12. 10-9 Napoles.so much more effective in close, doing some damage with the left hook

13. 10-9 Napoles, well in control now and landing plenty to body and head in close. Surely got it in the bag now.

14. 9-10 Lewis. What a difference, fleet footed sharp and evasive, hands looked quick again and he seems to hurt Napoles late with a nice shot.

15. 9-10 Lewis. Tough to score, Napoles really going for it, running after Lewis and hurling punches at him but Lewis capitalising on this, slipping under shots, making him miss crudely and catching him. Napoles lands enough that it could have gone either way.

144-141. Napoles. Good competitive fight with a contrast in attributes and styles that it made for an interesting tactical battle. Lewis speed, movement and nice slick boxing style vs Napoles power, intellligence and timing. Napoles had the better of it but you get the feeling if Lewis could have mustered the energy he somehow found in the laat two, he might have made this very interesting on the cards.

Liked both fighters here but Napoles here possibly showing little signs of age at 31, this is 3 years before the Monzon fight.
 
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For me it’s impossible to rate Napoles as a top win for Monzon, not even taking into account age or form, just due to the fact he never fought as a MW. He was a great WW champion, but with no other test of his ability at 160, that’s all he is on Monzons record. A great smaller fighter.

@Davie would it be fair to make a comparison between Monzon’s run and Marciano’s at HW? There are similarities here. They both went undefeated (Marciano through his career, Monzon through his title reign), both generally fought the best they could during their time, but the best guys around were often old greats, smaller fighters stepping up, or just solid contenders, and both lack that big win or two over prime greats to elevate their resume to the next level.
 

Davie

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For me it’s impossible to rate Napoles as a top win for Monzon, not even taking into account age or form, just due to the fact he never fought as a MW. He was a great WW champion, but with no other test of his ability at 160, that’s all he is on Monzons record. A great smaller fighter.

@Davie would it be fair to make a comparison between Monzon’s run and Marciano’s at HW? There are similarities here. They both went undefeated (Marciano through his career, Monzon through his title reign), both generally fought the best they could during their time, but the best guys around were often old greats, smaller fighters stepping up, or just solid contenders, and both lack that big win or two over prime greats to elevate their resume to the next level.

It isn't a bad comparison at all.

I always figured Napoles and Griffith had the asterisk but really wanted to view it in and around the era to say for certain. I'd watched individual fights from both in isolation, without really watching them in a chronological order to see where they were.
I'm inclined to agree with you, at least Griffith had the bigs fights and wins at MW, as well as a title reign of his own. Napoles couldn't even boast that. Add to the fact that he is also 5'7" and probably showing signs of age and it does comprimise what might be viewed as a with against an ATG fighter at first glance.

But you might make the same arguments of Hagler with Leonard and Duran. And unlike those examples, Monzon dealt with his little men in devastating fashion. And that is what I suspect I am taking from this so far, he beat good fighters, he beat great fighters*, but it is the great and dominant performances that have impressed me and I know from having seen Valdez, which will end up being his best wins, those great performances last right up to retirement.
 

Davie

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Jose Napolez vs Hedgemon Lewis 2

1. The footage starts with Lewis taking a helluva beating. Not sure if this is footage from the end if the fight.

2. 10-9 Napoles, well if I am rating where Napoles is in 1974 after the Monzon loss, he looks sharp as a tack. Lewis comes into this on an 11 fight win streak after their previous encounter but looks well off the pace

3. 10-9 Napoles. Having a lot of success here, Lewis has woken up a little and getting off his own shots but being hit with big punches from Jose.

4.
 

Davie

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Jose Napoles vs Billy Backus


Jose Napoles vs Billy Backus 2


Napoles vs Backus 1

1. 10-9 Napoles. He looks like he has far faster hands here, would have been 30 here, so a little fresher. Backus looks pretty quick too, decent opener

2. 9-10 Backus, orthodox vs southpaw, both quick and crisp punchers, similar tactics, both standing at punching range not a huge amount of movement, both relying on upper body movement, sharp counter punching without waiting too long to get off, I'd bet I would enjoy 15 rounds of this, I'll have to settle for 4 here

3. 109 Napoles. Outstanding round, few cracking exchanges, Napoles trying to get foot outside and get the right down the middle, Backus more reliant on the hook with the leading hand. This has classic written all over it

4. TKO Backus. That was another lively minute until the ref jumps in. Weird the way he does it, taking a close look as though assessing a hurt fighter then jumps in and sends him to the corner. The Backus corner jump straight in and celebrate, no assessment by the doctor or anything. That might have happened between rounds but it seems a very odd way for it to stop on cuts, unless cuts were just dealt with in the 70's.... but I'm sure I have watched fighter s split to allow the cut fighter to receive assessment by the ring doctor.

Very strange and disappointing given it was really working up to a good fight and looked very well matched. Just as well I have the rematch.
 

Davie

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Jose Napoles vs Billy Backus


Jose Napoles vs Billy Backus 2


Napoles vs Backus 2

1. 10-9 Napoles. Cracking opener, similar vein to the last fight. Good sharp shooting from both, tit for tat stuff but Napoles has a good spell in the mid portion of the round.

2. 10-9 Napoles. Fucking tremendous action, it really is. But Napoles just that little cuter in the early part and a little more determined once they go to war in the second half. Interesting that they both consistently moving clockwise, Backus rotating away from the Napoles back hand and Napoles towards it.

3. 9-10 Backus. So well matched these two. Had Napoles edging the round slighlty until Backus gets through with a couple left hands. Glad I gave him one because he has put so much into these opening few rounds.

4. 10-9 Napoles. Leaning back just enough to make Bachus fall short then catching him with counters, then it heats up again late and Napoles really digs in and puts everything into his shots.

5. 10-9 Napoles. Commentator comments on style contrast. I see more similarities than differences. Neither pushing to be on front foot, both happy to lead but ultimately looking for the counter openings, fighting in bursts of 2 or 3 shots. Napoles just that little bit more clever and technically better in most areas.

6. 10-9 Napoles. The gap starting to open between these two as well as above Backus's eye. Napoles timing him better, making him narrowly miss, getting in exchanges and picking the better shots. It's all fine margins but they're adding up now.

7. 10-10 Even. Really close round and a lot quieter from both men. Toyed with giving Backus it but I think an even round is fair

8. TKO Napoles. He really is a sharp puncher, hurts Backus a couple times with fast hard shots. Puts him down and Backus looks alright when he gets back up but on the second knockdown he crumbles. The ref takes him over for the ring doctor to check his eyes in an interesting turn of events from the last fight. Also interesting to see folk from both corners trying to enter the ring despite the ref making clear hand gestures for everyone to stay out while he calls the doctor.

69-65 Napoles. Over all looked the better man but Backus was a good fighter and a good foil for Napoles.
 
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Whats Monzon's most exciting bout for my evenings entertainment lads?
 
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Davie

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Fucking tough crowd.

A lot of his fights were quite one sided and he won them by holding off his opponents with long shots.
He is an aggressive fighter and throws plenty but his fights could lack competitiveness and drama.

The second Bouttier fight was good and had knock downs and although I haven't got to them here I'm sure the Valdez fights were good and likely his best wins.
 
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The first Benvenuti fight was a good fight too. Nino stood his ground and the finish is a classic
Thanks Davie. Watched the Valdez bouts back to back. Reg Gutteridge on comms for the rematch-brilliant. Benvenuiti next.
 
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