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Monzon Killed in Auto Accident : Boxing: Former middleweight champion dies in one-car crash while on furlough from prison, where he was serving time for murdering girlfriend.

From Associated Press

Carlos Monzon, a former middleweight champion who was convicted of killing his girlfriend six years ago, died Sunday when his car ran off a country road and overturned. He was 52.

Police said the accident happened near Santa Rosa de Calchines, a small town about 300 miles north of Buenos Aires.

A passenger, Geronimo Motura, also was killed and a woman, Alicia Guadalupe Sessia, was injured.

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Monzon was returning to Las Flores Prison, where he was serving an 11-year sentence for the 1988 slaying of his estranged girlfriend Alicia Muniz. Monzon, on furlough for good behavior, was allowed to spend weekends in the nearby provincial town of San Javier.

Monzon was an outstanding middleweight. He won the crown on Nov. 7, 1970 with a 12th-round knockout of Nino Benvenuti in Rome. He made a record 14 title defenses before retiring in 1977.

In 101 bouts, Monzon won 89, 61 by knockout, lost three, drew eight and had one no contest. Two of his title defenses were against Emile Griffith, winning in a technical knockout in 1971 and a 15-round decision in 1973.

Benvenuti, speaking by telephone from Rome with the Argentine news agency Telam, said “part of my life has gone with the death of Carlos.”

“He was one of the world’s greatest sports figures,” Benvenuti said. “He did great things and he has to be remembered for those and not for his current circumstances.”

Monzon, born in a poor neighborhood of the provincial capital of Santa Fe, was one of 12 children. He shined shoes, sold newspapers and worked as a laborer, carrying sides of beef in a meat-packing plant before taking up boxing.

The former champion and his wife, Mercedes Beatriz, separated early in his career. They had three children.

At the height of his career, Monzon hobnobbed with the European jet set and was a friend of French film star Alain Delon, who visited him several times in prison.

Monzon and Muniz, a Uruguayan model, met on a flight to Europe in 1978 and became companions. They were the parents of a son.

Monzon was convicted of killing Muniz during a fight in which the model fell from the balcony of a second-story apartment in the Atlantic resort city of Mar del Plata.

Monzon said the killing was an accident, but an autopsy showed Muniz had been strangled to the point of unconsciousness before she was hurled to her death.

The former champion had other run-ins with violence. He was charged with striking a photographer at a Christmas party in 1967, injuring the man’s eye.

On three other occasions, he was charged with beating men in fights, once at his mother-in-law’s house, once at a disco and once at a casino.


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