1974-02-09 Carlos Monzon w rtd 7 (15) Jose Napoles, Puteaux Circus Big Top, Paris, France - WORLD

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1974-02-09 Carlos Monzon w rtd 7 (15) Jose Napoles, Puteaux Circus Big Top, Paris, France - WORLD. Referee: Raymond Baldeyrou. This was a bridge too far for the welterweight champion, Napoles (153), who was just too small for the strong and powerful Monzon (159). Whatever Napoles tried he failed to hurt the champion, and although there were no knockdowns it was only the fighting spirit of the Cuban that kept him in the contest. From the fourth round onwards Monzon got down to business, snapping in the jab followed by vicious uppercuts. In the sixth Napoles took such a battering that it was no surprise that he retired as the bell rang for the seventh round. Following the fight, Napoles’ cornerman, Angelo Dundee, said that after his man had been thumbed in the eye it was impossible for him to continue.

When Monzon forfeited WBC recognition in April for failing to arrange a defence against Rodrigo Valdez within the stipulated period, the latter was matched with Bennie Briscoe in order to find a successor. A classy box-fighter, Valdez had beaten Briscoe on points over 12 rounds for the North American title in Noumea, New Caledonia on 1 September 1973, but the verdict had been disputed. With 59 wins from 67 contests, Valdez was rated at number one by The Ring magazine, while Briscoe sat one place behind him. Having turned pro in 1963 the experienced Valdez was on 20 straight victories, which included wins over Bobby Cassidy and Carlos Marks, and had waited a long time for this opportunity.

That decision of the WBC was blasted by the WBA, who stated that Monzon had met every obligation as far as they were concerned. With their blessing he negotiated a defence against Tony Mundine, to be held in Argentina on 14 September, before it was moved on to early October due to organisational problems.