Carlos Monzon vs. Tony Licata (MS Garden USA)

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Longhhorn71, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Longhhorn71

    Longhhorn71 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    1975-06-30 :
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    159¼ lbs beat
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    160 lbs by TKO at 2:43 in round 10 of 15

    • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA
    • Referee:
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    Middleweight Title
    (11th defending of Monzon)

    In a televised fight, Middleweight Champion Carlos Monzon (in his only title bout at Madison Square Garden) found a competitive and game opponent in young Tony Licata. Monzon was clearly ahead on points and dominated the bout with frequent combinations. Licata tried hard, and landed on occasion, but he was hit more often and had trouble penetrating Monzon's defenses.
    Sports Illustrated 7/14/75
    "While the look of Galindez may not be the stuff of Homer and Virgil, there is a beautiful rage in him. The same cannot be said of Carlos Monzon, who is a perfectly shaped middleweight, tall with long arms and with style running through every sinew up to his dramatic Belmondo face. At 32 he was making his American debut with a truly brilliant dossier: in his last 78 bouts—11 years' worth—he had not been beaten. His hardest fights seem to have been with his wife, who allegedly winged him once in self-defense with a .22, and with his own persona, which is often bitter, suspicious and generally confused.

    "He's an angry, nasty guy," says the long-faded Emile Griffith, who lost to Monzon twice during the fading. "He'd spit in your eye. We are friendly now, but he can be evil."

    Evil was hardly the word for Monzon against Licata, a busy but ineffectual fighter whose strategy was simple enough: move away from Monzon's "great" right hand, distract him with the left hand, then volley with authority. All this turned out to be mere drawing-room conversation; like John Steinbeck's Lenny, fighters love to be told how things are going to be. They listen well but translate badly.

    Licata won the first round, which anyone could have done against Monzon's imitation of a cigar-store Indian. Monzon became slightly more animated as the fight went on, and Licata became hyperactive—to his detriment. It was obvious that Licata likes to hear a crowd respond, likes to please it, and that by nature he is a fighter with more heart than his style can bear. Along the way he apparently became convinced that he could hurt Monzon, an astounding example of self-hypnosis. The consequence was that Licata was knocked down three times, the last coming at 17 seconds before the end of the 10th round, when the bout was stopped.

    What to say of Monzon, except that for once the old reactionaries who grouse over the present and slog sentimentally through the past are correct? Carlos Monzon came to New York as a legend, "pound for pound better than Sugar Ray Robinson" as the old wheeze goes. Sugar should sue for slander; not only is Monzon not a legend, he is a mere footnote, the product of Latin generosity and emotion.

    "He would have given Robinson a hard night," said Gil Clancy later. Granted, the air in New York does funny things to one's eyes, but that can hardly be the excuse for such a misreading as Clancy's; it must be hoped that he is not suddenly bereft of good sense but merely oiling a machine for future use. For Monzon is heavy on the eyes. He is sloppy. He is slew. He has no leverage nor the slightest notion of how to achieve it. His lack of velocity is stupefying and, on the evidence of this fight, the next combination he throws will be his first.

    The Argentinian celebration later was of higher merit. It was held at the consulate and attended by millionaire ranchers and others who did everything but drop palm leaves in front of Monzon as he entered. Then they went at the buffet with vigor, tearing chunks out of turkeys, hams and beeves while listening to a mariachi band. They ate as if they were out on the Pampas, and it was refreshing to see the infectious enthusiasm, people who knew what they were doing. Toward the end, the tables would be nothing but bones, a fitting symbol for the ghastly shape of the middleweight division."

    This set the stage for his long-awaited tilt against Carlos Monzon at Madison Square Garden for the WBA Middleweight title. Although he would go down in defeat as a result of a TKO in the tenth round, Licata’s place in Tampa boxing lore would remain secure.

    After a decade-long career, Licata retired in 1980 with an overall mark of 61-7-4. His record in Tampa, however, was a dominating 22-0. He may have hailed from the Big Easy, but Licata couldn’t have felt more at home in the ring anywhere else.

    Curtis Lowe and roughdiamond like this.
  2. Curtis Lowe

    Curtis Lowe Boxing Addict Full Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Excellent effort by Licata. The man gave it his all. Looking back and just taking the entire event in consider, it was a really a great setting:
    Madison Sq. Garden, an Great champion in Monzon, a good challenger, exciting finish, Tony Perez being the ref, Eddie Futch working Licata's corner.
    Can't ask for much more than that.