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Monzon laughed again. Brusa and the doctor watched as he drank a glass of wine and poured another. Sitting alone at a separate table was a young Santa Fe amateur, Norberto Cabrera, who became a piece of Argentine boxing lore by knocking out his own teammate in a dormitory fight at the Munich Olympics. The teammate was hurt badly enough that doctors barred him from fighting further in the Olympics. Cabrera sat as if in exile, but Monzon saw him, called him over to the table and had a waiter bring him a chair. "See," a friend of Monzon's whispered, " Monzon is not a monster. He's only a little distrustful of people at first."
His eye bandaged, Gonzalez went to Monzon and asked what he should eat. "You eat the white meat. Nothing else," Monzon said, adding a little soda to Gonzalez' wine. Gonzalez returned to his seat and kept looking at a platter of fried potatoes in front of him. Finally he put some on his plate and poured a glass of wine.
Monzon was saying he did not blame Luna Park fans for not supporting him in the past. "It was because my opponents were inferior," he said. That could be said fairly well about the opponents Monzon will be offered should he beat Briscoe. If there is a young middleweight of championship class coming up anywhere soon, he is in hiding. By beating Briscoe, Monzon should be able to hold on to the title for a few years without much trouble. But Briscoe is what is known as a Philadelphia fighter—tough, hostile, aggressive. A lot of boxers have stayed out of his way.
Monzon had not tried to find out if Briscoe had changed any since 1967. "I don't care what my opponent has been doing," Monzon said. "I don't look at films of them in the ring, and I don't read stories about them. When the time comes, Brusa will tell me how to fight them. That's what he gets his 25% for. Until then, I don't think about them."
It was after 3 a.m. by now. More people had joined the table. Monzon laughed loudly when he saw someone drinking a glass of milk. He jumped up and grabbed a camera to take a picture of this singular event. Not even Abel was drinking milk. The champion sat back down and looked at the people around him with a grin. A question was asked: Did Monzon consider himself to be one of the great middleweight champions of history?
Monzon's gold bracelet dangled as he sipped from the wineglass. " Sugar Ray Robinson never did what I've done—winning six straight championship fights by knockouts," he said. "I guess that means I'm pretty good, huh?"